IowaWatch Connection: Political Climate

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Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

Republican supporters of Gov. Terry Branstad, holding large posters bearing the likeness of his face, pose for a group photo before the Sept. 20 gubernatorial debate in Burlington, Iowa.

Political rhetoric seems more heated, and the discussion nastier, than ever.

“We’re very used to in this country having party polarization, where the two parties say very different things, where the candidates have a really nasty campaign and fight,” said David Andersen, an Iowa State University political science professor.

“The difference, I think, today, is that discourse has reached the people level. The common, everyday person now is polarized. And that is worrisome. Democracy cannot function when you have people who will not discuss politics with each other.”

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