Washington Post columnist Jason Willick writes that Democrats have moved to the left – more inclusive – while the Republicans have remained evenly divided between inclusive and restrictive members.
Jason cites this research article, saying (I assume drawing from the article) “In 1994, just 5 percent of Democrats and Republicans on both sides wanted immigration levels to increase. They drifted apart gradually in the 2000s and suddenly in the 2010s. In 2022, 41 percent of Democrats, compared with 10 percent of Republicans, supported higher immigration levels.”
I covered this split in 2023 here.
Polarization vs politization?
In reality, while polls reveal a lot of polarization on both sides, what is not well reflected in the polls is the saliency, or the importance of immigration – how important it is to the people being polled – and what they want to do about it politically. We need to pay attention to how groups in America politicize immigration. When we take that into account it becomes evident that many conservatives tend to have very pronounced cultural misgivings about immigration and are willing to communicate these misgivings politically by supporting Trump. There is no Democratic politician or Democratic movement that is anywhere near Trump in pushing an inclusive policy.