I read the article and it's easy to say that 77% occupy common ground on social policy and 69% on economic issues, when the reader has NO IDEA what those policies and issues ARE. I would have to see the actual policies and issued asked about before I could come to any conclusions as to the real results.
All political parties are out of touch with the real concerns of their voting members. Furthermore, politicians and the mass media misrepresent the real social and political objectives of the electorate. The extreme political polarization of the American people is a myth.
Voters In Red And Blue States Virtually The Same On Issues
8 June 2011
Take a random person from a so-called "red state," and the odds are nearly 50/50 that he or she would actually be more liberal on political issues than a random resident of a "blue state."
More specifically, the chances of any one red state citizen scoring more liberal than a blue state citizen are 46 percent on economic issues and 51 percent on social issues.
The research, conducted by political scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Brigham Young University, paints an entirely different picture of American politics than the popular narrative of a polarized society.
The premise of polarization didn't hold up even when the analysis was limited to states considered to be at the extremes of the conservative-liberal scale. Take Utah and New York, for example. The researchers calculate that 77 percent of voters in those two states occupy common ground when it comes to social policy, and 69 percent shared common ground on economic issues.
I suspect the results would have been a bit different if the researchers had limmited the polling to the members of SE.