Analyst says US is most divided since Civil War

Political analyst Bill Schneider on Wednesday said the political environment in the U.S. is the most divided since the Civil War.

“Nothing is ever permanent, but we are broken,” Schneider, a professor of policy, government and international affairs at George Mason University, told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on “What America’s Thinking.”

“I’d say this is the most divided we’ve been since the Civil War,” he added.

Schneider’s comments come as polling indicates a divided electorate heading into November’s midterm elections.

The controversy surrounding the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has revealed a deep partisan divide, with most Republicans supporting Kavanaugh and a similar amount of Democrats opposing him. 

A recent Politico/Morning Consult survey found that 70 percent of Democrats oppose his nomination, while 73 percent of Republicans back it.

Emily Ekins, polling director at the Cato Institute, said that while the country appears divided now, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily stay that way for a long time.

“I think things can change pretty quickly,” she said. “I mean, I think people thought the Republican Party was done after Richard Nixon, and here comes along Ronald Reagan just a few years later.”

— Julia Manchester