Poll: Partisan gap widened in last decade

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Republicans and Democrats have increasingly hostile views of one another as both parties have moved toward their ideological wings in the past decade, according to a Pew Research poll released Thursday. 

The survey finds 43 percent of Republicans have a "very unfavorable" view of the opposite party, up from 17 percent in 1994. Thirty-eight percent of Democrats have a very unfavorable view of Republicans, up from 16 percent in 1994. 

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On top of that, 36 percent of Republicans see the Democratic Party as a "threat to the nation," while 27 percent of Democrats feel the same about Republicans. 

Partisan views are also on the rise. Nine percent of all people call themselves consistently conservative — up from 7 percent 10 years ago. Twelve percent classify themselves as consistently liberal — up from 3 percent a decade ago. 

Only 39 percent described their ideological views as mixed — down 10 points since 1994. 

The partisan views have an effect on the public's definition of compromise. 

Forty-nine percent of people believe compromise means Democrats and Republicans each getting half of what they want. However, most consistent conservatives and consistent liberals believe the ideal agreement is one in which their party holds out to get most of what it wants. 

Those consistent conservative and liberals are also the most likely to vote and contribute to candidates and other political groups. 

Seventy-eight percent of consistent conservatives and 58 percent of consistent liberals said they always vote. Twenty-six percent of those conservatives and 31 percent of those liberals said they have contributed money to a political candidate or group in the last two years. 

The pew poll surveyed more than 10,000 people from January to March and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.