Political Polarization

The U.S. is not a totally polarized nation—it just feels that way because those with polarized views speak the loudest and are the ones getting elected to office. They are also the ones being covered by the media.


The political class and those who strongly identify with a party are more polarized than ever. But most Americans are not in either polarized camp, they have a mix of political views.


A recent Pew Research Center survey of 10,000 Americans found that partisan Republicans and Democrats believe people in the opposing party “are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being.”



But most Americans believe “their representatives in government should resolve contentious disputes through compromise.”


Pew found 39% of Americans have an equal number of liberal and conservative positions and a mix of ideological views on immigration, gun control and education, economic and health-care policies.


The national media, academic and party narrative is one of a polarized country with everyone choosing sides on either the extreme left or right. But that portrayal of the U.S. political landscape is inaccurate and incomplete. There are millions of people in the middle with diverse views and they are not being heard from.


The problem is that those in the center “remain on the edges of the political playing field,” while “the most ideologically oriented and politically rancorous Americans make their voices heard.”


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