++Addition++In the comments, an anonymous reader presents an alternative table measuring partisan differences in terms of standard deviations. Rather than comparing popular support in each party, it compares underlying attitudes towards each of the issues examined.
Following up on the previous post in which we looked at the size of political divides on a host of issues, the same process is repeated here, based on partisan self-identification rather than political orientation. For consistency, the items are measured in a way that affirmation of the statement represents what is putatively thought to be the Democratic position. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward:
|Gov't should definitely provide healthcare for the sick||66.5||63.0||36.2||30.3|
|Same-sex marriage should be legalized||46.1||34.9||22.1||24.0|
|Military spending is too high||35.0||28.7||11.9||23.1|
|Taxes on the rich are too low||56.2||45.9||34.4||21.8|
|Outlaw capital punishment for murderers||40.1||31.3||19.8||20.3|
|Gov't has an obligation to help blacks specifically||26.0||14.5||7.5||18.5|
|Abortion should be legal in all circumstances||47.6||36.3||31.0||16.6|
|Man evolved from other animals||57.6||50.7||41.5||16.1|
|Homosexual relations are morally acceptable||39.1||30.7||23.2||15.9|
|Police permits should be required for gun ownership||86.4||82.9||72.3||14.1|
|Marijuana usage should be legalized||40.8||35.8||26.9||13.9|
|Affirmative action for blacks does not hurt whites||39.3||33.9||27.4||11.9|
|Attend religious services less than once a month||54.9||62.1||44.8||10.1|
|Have never been married||26.8||28.5||17.2||9.6|
|No belief in or uncertainty over the existence of God||40.2||37.2||32.4||7.8|
|Prayer in public schools should be banned||43.7||40.1||36.8||6.9|
|Assisted suicide allowed for those with terminal illnesses||61.7||60.5||56.7||5.0|
|Immigrants pose no threat to English language||69.5||67.6||65.7||3.8|
|Hispanic immigration should not be decreased||57.4||54.7||54.5||2.9|
|Science does more good than harm||60.3||48.1||63.7||(3.4)|
Even though the healthcare question was only asked in 2006, the political divide existed prior to the passage of Obamacare. I suspect the gap is even wider today.
Same-sex marriage is again shown to be among the day's most polarizing issues. As an aside, you will rarely hear major media sources referring to it as such, however, because the word is usually reserved for describing populist issues pushed by the right that the left doesn't like, such as tougher immigration enforcement. Consequently, it has negative connotations, and nothing relating to homosexuality is allowed to be negative. Taxation, defense spending, and capital punishment are also starkly defined by partisanship.
Most noticeable is that Democrat-Republican divides (averaging 13.5 points) are narrower than liberal-conservative divides (averaging 20.8 points) are. Specifically, as a group, liberals are considerably further to the left than Democrats are. The biggest differences show up on the gay issues, drug legalization, abortion, school prayer, assisted suicide and personal belief in God. Clearly there are many white Democrats (and a slew of NAMs) who, despite being in partisan alignment with SWPLs, are nonetheless the wrong kind of white people.
The levels of support among conservatives and Republicans are virtually identical on almost everything, the only marginal exceptions being on defense spending (conservatives are more likely to want to cut it than Republicans) and the legal right to assisted suicide (Republicans are slightly more inclined to the idea than are conservatives). But even on these two things, the conservative-Republican gap is not even half of what it is among liberals and Democrats on the issues listed above.
Despite the perceptions that Republicans and especially conservatives stand in opposition to scientific progress because of skepticism over evolution or lack of support for government funding of embryonic stem cell research, luddites are no more prevalent on the right than they are on the left. I recall Inductivist having shown that, excepting the aforementioned "hot button" issues, those on the right are as scientifically literate as those on the left, though I'm frustratingly unable to find that post at the moment (please point me to it in the comments if you're aware of what I'm recalling).
GSS variables used: ABANY, GRASS, HOMOSEX, PRAYER, HELPBLK, DISCAFF, MARHOMO, GUNLAW, TAXRICH, CAPPUN, ENGTHRTN, GOD, ATTEND, SUICIDE1, HARMGOOD, EVOLVED, MARITAL, SPARMS, LETINHSP, YEAR(2000-2008), PARTYID(0-2)(3)(4-6)