new study from the Pew Research Center shows a growing partisan gap in opinions on major issues, driven in part by Democrats’ leftward drift.

Pew found Democrats have moved substantially left on a variety of issues while Republicans’ views remain relatively constant. That was true across social and economic issues; Pew claimed that the split between Republicans and Democrats is more pronounced than any divides by race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

“This poll and some other recent ones show that Democrats are pulling more strongly to the left and Republicans are not pulling quite as strongly to the right as a general matter,” said Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who specializes in American public opinion.

One such leftward shift came in Pew’s question about welfare. As to whether or not the government “should do more to help the needy, even if it means going deeper into debt,” 71 percent of Democrats respond affirmatively, up 17 points over the past six years.

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