A bad economy (especially when the press refuses to acknowledge it) and 15 years of conflict abroad. To me, it's simple. We are undergoing a dramatic structural shift in our economic structure that will be permanent. But will take another 25 years (artificial intelligence, etc.). Combined with an uncertain world, that is scary for many.
Generally speaking it's each party's platform of items they're either in favor of or are against. Traditionally it's the ideology people go with. A pro-life person rarely vote for a pro-choice candidate.
One exception would be horrible economy.
Above all else people tend to vote their pocketbook.
Another is when a candidate is a "popular native". (Example California is considered a "blue state" and yet it's former Governor Ronald Reagan won the state when was elected and re-elected president.)
Democrats often view the federal government as being a major part of the solution to citizen's needs while Republicans view government as the problem and would like to see cut down in size.
However today we're witnessing a departure. For instance there are many people who consider themselves to be Republicans and they are supporting Donald Trump even though the his ideas oppose many conservative stances. He said for instance he's in favor of universal healthcare, and also believes we would have been better off leaving Saddam Hussein in power, POWs like Senator McCain aren't war heroes, George W. Bush (failed) to keep us safe on 9/11 and he even skipped one of the Republican debates.
All of these statements/actions would have been political suicide for any Republican candidate in the past.
The old mantra was cut taxes, reduce government regulation. and cut spending on entitlements as the way to solve all of our problems.
Last but not least politics in the U.S. is very much like a sporting event. Both parties host major rallies and the supporters for each side oftentimes behave like rabid fans. There are slogans and chants. Some folks relish the animosity and "differences" to the point of insulting one another based upon their support.
The United States historically has had a two party system. But in recent years we see that our elected officials operate in their own best interests.
This actually gives us just one party. We've simply been reluctant to face this reality.
It doesn't help that many have been conditioned to think of the government as their mommy (democrats) or daddy (republicans). Our representatives are probably laughing at us, dancing on their desks. Our weaknesses, our desire for the easy way out, helps them create situations which simply expand their control over us- so they can further enrich their bank accounts.
There can be good times ahead but we have to wake up to what's really going on.
Fortunately, this is what's happening. That's why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have such mass appeal. It may even come to the point where we forget this business about "Partisanship" and, instead, educate ourselves so we can truly decide which candidate, if any, represents any interests other than their own.
When a nation called itself "United" but promotes "disunity" it will have divided political parties although their is nothing in the constitution to suggest it is allowed in these "United States of America." In that light, whats causes "Bias Political Partisanship" is it's the means of keeping the people from knowing there is supposed to be a "united party-less congress" just like most have lost sight of the fact that this is supposed to be a "United States of America."
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