By Glenn Fleishman
October 22, 2018

Researchers looking into political and social divides in America said in a new study that only 6% of American fit the definition of far right, people who feel that America is under threat and they’re the last line of defense in protecting traditional values with strident uncompromising views. On the other end of the political spectrum, the study identified 8% of Americans as “Progressive Activists” on the far left, focused on equity, fairness, and the direction American is taking. Compared to those on the right, this group is more secular and urban, and rejects traditional authority while trying to rectify “historical injustices.”

The study, called “Hidden Tribes,” broke out results into seven categories, with 67% of those surveyed falling into what researchers labeled the “Exhausted Majority.” This largest grouping looks for common ground, has opinions based on situations instead of conforming to strict ideologies—and hates polarization.

The research also compares results from its study with standard demographic categories, such as religious affiliation, gender, stated political affiliation, and race or ethnicity.

Researchers used uniformity of answers to certain core questions to sort out the groupings. This resulted in a single far-left progressive slot (8%), and both the far-right Devoted Conservatives (6%), and a slightly less rigid, but still dogmatic right-wing “Traditional Conservatives” group (19%).

Those three categories the study defines as left-wing and right-wing answer polarizing questions identically. For instance, asked whether feminists either fight for important issues or “just attack men,” 96% of Progressive Activists agreed with important issues, while 92% of Devoted Conservatives said “attack men.”

Similarly, on police brutality, 95% of Progressive Activists agreed police were more violent towards African Americans than people of other races, while 93% of Devoted Conservatives said police were mostly fair towards people of every race.

Over 8,000 U.S. citizens, selected to be statistically representative of the population based on census data, participated in the survey conducted over the last year.

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