wedge issue


: a political issue that divides a candidate's supporters or the members of a party

Examples of wedge issue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last, climate change has simply become much harder to ignore and is shaping up to possibly become a wedge issue with future generations: The only audience question posed at the Republican debate came from a student who noted polling that shows climate change is one of young people’s top concerns. Molly Taft, The New Republic, 1 Sep. 2023 The legal basis for doing so is dubious, and the apparent assumption of Democrats that this is a political wedge issue favoring their side is questionable. Dan McLaughlin, National Review, 26 July 2023 Crime has been a wedge issue since Biden took office, with opponents taking aim at the rise in violence in U.S. cities and progressive calls to shift police funding to other anti-crime initiatives. Phillip M. Bailey, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2023 Despite Republican candidates’ relentless use of crime as a wedge issue in 2022, criminal-justice reform was actually a rare area of bipartisan consensus for much of Willis’s time working under Howard. Mark Binelli, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2023 With no deal in sight, immigration has become more of a political wedge issue for years. Lisa Hagen, Hartford Courant, 13 Jan. 2023 Levine, who has visited hospitals and clinics providing gender-affirming care across the country to advocate for the importance of the services, believes that pundits and politicians are targeting trans youth as a wedge issue for the upcoming election along with reproductive rights. Theresa Gaffney, STAT, 5 Nov. 2022 But today, just as nationwide incarceration rates were beginning to slowly drop, public anxiety over crime is being turned into a wedge issue between the two political parties to undermine progress made on civil rights and criminal justice reform. Time, 3 Nov. 2022 Candidates in three San Diego City Council runoffs have taken opposite stances on a November ballot measure that would repeal free trash pickup for the city’s single-family homes, and the measure could become a wedge issue in some of the races. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wedge issue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1982, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wedge issue was in 1982

Dictionary Entries Near wedge issue

Cite this Entry

“Wedge issue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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