wedge issue


Definition of 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

Meanwhile, Painter is quickly elevating his support for women's reproductive rights — a Democratic wedge issue that candidates like to use as a signal of their anti-Trump creds. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Make no mistake: Richard Painter is running for Senate, thanks to Trump," 30 Apr. 2018 In a Tuesday morning tweet, Trump seemed to be acting on Miller’s advocacy of making immigration a wedge issue against Democrats: Democrats are the problem. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Xenophobia, rather than polling numbers, may best explain this immigration policy.," 19 June 2018 As 2016 demonstrated, the Supreme Court has a funny way of becoming a wedge issue in a hurry, and the GOP will use it to punish Democrats in contests that Democrats cannot afford to lose. Jay Willis, GQ, "Why Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Is Even Worse Than You Think," 27 June 2018 Despite the urgency of our nation’s immigration crisis, politicians on both sides of the aisle cynically employ immigration as a wedge issue, election after election, for their own benefit. Jeb Bush, Time, "Jeb Bush: Delaying Immigration Reform Is a Missed Opportunity for Republicans," 6 June 2018 American commanders, worrying that anti-American political factions could make the coalition training a wedge issue, halted news media access to training operations during Iraq’s election campaign. Margaret Coker, New York Times, "U.S. Takes a Risk: Old Iraqi Enemies Are Now Allies," 11 May 2018 My sexuality is used as a wedge issue and quite frankly my vocation as a minister is part of it as well. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Kopser accused of making opponent’s sexuality an issue," 3 Apr. 2018 Trump gives his best reading of a long speech full of the usual SOTU emotional blackmail and wedge issues. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Trump Show," 31 Jan. 2018 Conservative pundits, meanwhile, are salivating over polling from Quinnipiac that shows impeachment to be a true wedge issue that commands overwhelming support from rank-and-file Democrats while the mass public expresses profound unease. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Democrats’ 2018 impeachment dilemma, explained," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wedge issue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wedge issue

1982, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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The first known use of wedge issue was in 1982

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wedge issue


English Language Learners Definition of wedge issue

: an issue about which a politician's supporters or the members of a political party disagree

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to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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