Polarization is both a buzzword and a tangible indicator of the state of our nation. We hear how polarized the American public is from our politicians, the media, and our friends and family. We have also experienced the effects of voter suppression, election denial, cancel culture, the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and congressional gridlock.

This Polarization Index was created to help us better understand how polarized the American public is really. Grasping the ways in which we are polarized – to what degree and over what issues – and identifying areas of bipartisan agreement, will give us a stronger foundation from which to make progress. The following report presents data from a multitude of reputable sources to provide a holistic understanding of partisan polarization in the United States.

This report is Part III of four parts. It tackles polarization in the federal government, with a section dedicated to each of the three branches. Parts I and II (September 2023) cover affective and ideological polarization. Part IV (December 2023) covers media and disinformation.



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