NPR

2-Party System? Americans Might Be Ready For 8

A new Pew poll finds that while there are still two major parties in America, there are stark divisions within each.
Demonstrators protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3 about partisan gerrymandering. Pew research finds Americans are split into multiple factions ? beyond the two major parties. / JIM WATSON / Getty Images

Updated at 11:53 a.m. ET.

There is a political crackup happening in America.

There remain two major political parties in this country, but there are stark fissures within each. There seem to be roughly at least four stripes of politics today — the pragmatic left (think: Obama-Clinton, the left-of-center establishment Democrats), the pragmatic right (the Bush-McCain-Bob Corker Republican), the populist right (Trump's America) and the populist left (Bernie Sanders liberals).

But a new political typology out Tuesday from the Pew Research Center, based on surveys of more than 5,000 adults conducted over the summer, goes even deeper. It finds eight distinct categories of political ideology (nine if you include "bystanders," those not engaged with politics).

They are as follows, from most conservative to most liberal (in part based on how many of them crossover between the two major parties. It also mostly tracks with their approval or Trump):

1. Core Conservatives — 13 percent of the general public

2. Country First Conservatives — 6 percent

3. Market Skeptic Republicans —

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPolitics
Wayfair Employees Protest Sale Of Furniture To Migrant Detention Center
"This is the first time I felt like I needed to hit the streets to make sure I was proud of my company, to make sure I was happy to work for them," employee Madeline Howard said at the walkout.
NPR3 min read
Champagne, Caviar And No Shame At All: Remembering Judith Krantz
The novelist, who died last week at 91, was often slammed by critics as a frivolous sex-and-shopping writer. But her luxuries were meticulously researched and her sex scenes gloriously shameless.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Senate Passes $4.6 Billion Emergency Border Funding Bill Signalling Battle With House
The sweeping 84-8 vote came minutes after the Senate handily rejected the House's humanitarian assistance bill, signalling what will likely be a contentious battle to reconcile the competing bills.