Skip to main content

BPC/USA TODAY National Survey on Political Polarization

In partnership with USA TODAY, the Bipartisan Policy Center examined public attitudes about partisanship in American politics and released a national poll by Whit Ayres and Mark Mellman on partisanship in America.

The poll reveals a deeply polarized America where voters take their cues from the political parties with which they identify. While polarized politically, on specific policy issues the poll shows that there are many potential areas for agreement in our political discourse. The Commission on Political Reform will use these poll results and a series of meetings across the country to engage the public in a national conversation to develop recommendations for policymakers about how to improve our polarized political system.

Poll Highlights:

  • Three of four, including 80 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats, say American politics has become more divided in recent years.
  • A majority on both sides say politics are more divided because both parties have changed: Democrats becoming more liberal and Republicans more conservative.
  • Three of four say the deeper division is a bad thing, because it makes things harder to get done. Just one in five call it a good thing because it gives voters a real choice.
  • A 55 percent majority say the divisions between the political parties in Washington doesn’t mean there are deep divisions among everyday Americans. About a third, 35 percent, say Washington’s divisions reflect a similar divide within the public.

*The poll, taken by land-line and cellphone Feb. 18-21, has a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.

Read Next
Downloads and Resources

Support Research Like This

With your support, BPC can continue to fund important research like this by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans.

Give Now