Is there political polarization in Brazil? Evidence from two series of public opinion surveys

Pablo Ortellado Marcio Moretto Ribeiro Leonardo Zeine About the authors

Abstract

While there is abundant anecdotal evidence of political polarization in Brazil, empirical studies have largely focused on voting patterns. Based on two historical series of opinion polls (Latin American Public Opinion Project and World Values Survey), we investigate the occurrence of political polarization in four established ways: polarization of opinions on political issues, polarization of political identities, sorting of opinions and identities and affective polarization. We found that there is polarization of opinion about gay rights and about divorce both as a process and as a state. Political identities have also been polarized since 2010, especially among the elderly and the less educated, without any significant increase in ideological sorting. Finally, we found that, among the politically engaged, there is affective polarization around some identities.

political polarization; affective polarization; culture wars

Centro de Estudos de Opinião Pública da Universidade Estadual de Campinas Cidade Universitária 'Zeferino Vaz", CESOP, Rua Cora Coralina, 100. Prédio dos Centros e Núcleos (IFCH-Unicamp), CEP: 13083-896 Campinas - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 19) 3521-7093 - Campinas - SP - Brazil
E-mail: rop@unicamp.br