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Expand chart
Data: PRRI 2021 American Values Survey; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Here's one potential reason why the GOP elevates so-called culture wars in elections: Republicans and white Christians largely think things were better for Americans in the 1950s than now.

Driving the news: New data from a wide-ranging report released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and Brookings Institution gives insight into the country's partisan fault lines around identity and culture.

  • The findings crystallize the "competing visions of America," the report says.
  • 80% of Republicans feel "America is in danger of losing its culture and identity" — compared to just 33% of Democrats.

Between the lines: The Virginia governor's race has drawn attention even from former President Obama for the presence of what he called "phony culture wars" and "fake outrage" from the right-wing political and media sphere.

  • Only 29% of Republicans currently think American culture has changed for the better since the 1950s — a noticeable decline from 46% in 2020, but closer to the 31% who felt similarly in 2016 just before Donald Trump was elected president.
  • He ran on the theme, "Make America Great Again."

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Nov 9, 2021 - Axios Denver

The questions GOP candidates refuse to answer ahead of 2022 election

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

One year from the 2022 elections, Republicans in Colorado are feeling the midterm momentum, buoyed by historical results favoring the party out of power and the GOP’s win in the Virginia governor's race.

Driving the news: First, though, Republican candidates need to find answers to a handful of tricky questions about former President Donald Trump, the legitimacy of the 2020 election and how to look at the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

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