Carroll Doherty, Pew Research Center

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Jun 27 2014 30 mins  

It’s no shock, of course, that we live in polarized times. Even with no empirical evidence, everything seems to feel more ideological and divided than it has in many of our lifetimes. So is that true? And if so, is there a way out?Well, we now have a major set of data, and they don’t look so great. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press recently released the first of multiple reports on the “Political Polarization in the American Public.” And sadly the results may be more discouraging than we thought. From how polarization manifests itself in our personal lives to its effects on policymaking to the way it shows up even in our political participation, the numbers are telling.And now today, the second report covering political typography. This report looks beyond Red vs. Blue divisions to gain a clearer understanding of the dynamic nature of the “center” of the American electorate, and the internal divides on both the left and the right. It also comes with a quiz, so you can determine with truthfulness where you fit in.So how polarized are we? Is there room – a chance – for the so-called political compromise so many seek? What does the so-called “Center” actually look like?Carroll Doherty is Director of Political Research, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and he’s here to tell us the answers.