Are Americans Hopelessly Divided Over Politics?

Daniel A. Cox August 18, 2022

Partisan hostility is at an all-time high, but things are not quite as bad as they seem

Every new poll seems to bring more bad news about the state of American politics. Most recently, the Pew Research Center released a new survey showing Democrats and Republicans hate each other more this year than they did last. The report states: “Growing shares in each party now describe those in the other party as more closed-minded, dishonest, immoral and unintelligent than other Americans.” 

I’m not going to suggest that the American political system is in great shape, but things are probably not quite as bad as they seem. Why? Well, too often the political news and information are presented in ways that highlight division and exaggerate differences. Let me explain.

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Survey Reports

Red leather-bound Qur'an on a wooden table with prayer beads and a light blue surgical mask draped over top.

Lindsey Witt-Swanson, Jennifer Benz, Daniel A. Cox
January 5, 2023

Faith After the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Changed American Religion

The Survey Center on American Life at AEI teamed up with researchers at NORC at the University of Chicago to measure religious affiliation and attendance both before the pandemic (2018 to March 2020) and again in spring 2022, revealing who remained at the pews, who returned to the pews, and who left.

Brent Orrell, Daniel A. Cox, Jessie Wall
October 25, 2022

The Social Workplace: Social Capital, Human Dignity, and Work in America

Why is work, more often than not, the center of life for Americans? Explore the social dimension of work and the role it plays in building human connections and strengthening social capital.

Karlyn Bowman, Daniel A. Cox
October 4, 2022

Gender, Generation and Abortion: Shifting Politics and Perspectives After Roe

Three months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the issue of abortion continues to garner widespread public attention.

Daniel A. Cox
July 28, 2022

The Democratic Party’s Transformation: More Diverse, Educated, and Liberal but Less Religious

The Democratic party has experienced a lot if change in recent years, where is this change most prominent in the days leading up to 2022 midterms?