Are you obsessed with politics? Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan, associate professors of political science at Stony Brook University have been studying the ways in which people pay attention to politics and how it may impact their political views and behavior.
They found that the other divide, rather than Democrats and Republicans, is also between those who eat, sleep and breathe politics versus the people who pay attention but don’t make politics an essential part of their lives.
“There are some people who are paying a huge, almost outsized amount of attention to politics and for others for whom politics is definitely important but in the background,” Krupnikov said.
Out of a study involving nearly 4,000 Americans, they found that 75-80 percent follow politics casually or not at all whereas 20 percent are deeply involved. And it’s typically the latter group of people who tend to stir controversy between Republican and Democratic parties.
“This 20-25 percent of people have great divides in how they feel about parties – they like their party and hate the other party and for the other 75-percent, they don’t like their party and they’re pretty down about the other party too,” said Ryan.
The study also found that hard partisans are twice as likely as people who pay less attention to politics to say that they would be unhappy if their children married someone of the opposing party. And as many as half of these people share their views on social media every day.
And with less than two weeks until the election it’s hard not to get away from politics – everyone is entitled to their own opinion.