Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior
Willingness to support funding for government programs, particularly social programs, has been a key difference between Democrats and Republicans since the New Deal era. In recent years, considerable research has pointed to increasing differences between partisans. The current research uses General Social Survey data from 1973 to 2014 to examine the extent to which differences between Democrats and Republicans on spending issues have increased over time, have been consistent across domains, or have fluctuated differentially during this period. The results demonstrate that while Democrats and Republicans have distinct and opposing views on questions of government spending, partisan differences in support for spending are not uniform across issue areas, with larger differences on social welfare issues than on issues that are seen as redistributive, but not entitlements. The changes in liberalism that have occurred among partisans on these issues vary across domains and fluctuate at various points during this 40-year period.