With the economy still struggling and the nation involved in multiple military operations overseas, the public’s political mood is fractious. In this environment, many political attitudes have become more doctrinaire at both ends of the ideological spectrum, a polarization that reflects the current atmosphere in Washington.
Yet at the same time, a growing number of Americans are choosing not to identify with either political party, and the center of the political spectrum is increasingly diverse. Rather than being moderate, many of these independents hold extremely strong ideological positions on issues such as the role of government, immigration, the environment and social issues. But they combine these views in ways that defy liberal or conservative orthodoxy....
Obama Job Approval Rebounds Amid Voter Discontent on Economy (San Francisco Chronicle) There's a partisan divide on the debt ceiling, with 64 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of independent voters saying that failing to raise it would have "disastrous" consequences, while 49 percent of Republicans said so. Yet substantial minorities believe it wouldn't have a serious impact, including 27 percent of Democrats, 34 percent of independent voters and 38 percent of Republicans. The number goes up to 44 percent among those who identify strongly with the Tea Party.