New Study on National Division Finds Startling Results

A third of Americans now say political violence is “sometimes justified.” 
43% believe civil war is likely. 

NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A new national study from nonpartisan group The Common Good in association with Emerson College Polling conducted October 8-11, finds the country dangerously divided with a third of Americans now believing that political violence is at least sometimes justified. 

The group launched an annual index which quantifies and tracks the level of national division as it seeks to identify causes and potential solutions. The Common Good Index of National Division (TCGI) for 2022 is 71 and it highlights some dangerous and disturbing findings. 

  • 62% believe the country is so divided, it can no longer operate effectively (30% strongly). 
  • 78% believe the greatest threat to the country is from internal rather than external forces. 
  • 61% believe national division is a threat to democracy.  71% Republicans, 61% of Democrats.
  • 43% believe a civil war is likely.  51% of Republicans, 40% of Democrats. 
  • 52% of Americans now say they have friends and family with whom they can no longer discuss politics civilly or respectfully. 

“National division is a clear and ongoing threat to our democracy,” said Patricia Duff, founder of The Common Good. “Our survey shows that the primary driver of this discord is party politics with news media following as the second leading cause.  We believe that only by quantifying, tracking, and understanding it can we develop real solutions, lower the temperature and promote a constructive and healthy national discourse.” 

The study found widespread agreement on the top driver of national division with “the way political parties chose candidates” topping the list. The vast majority, 88%, believe it is an important contributor to national division. The news media was viewed as the second highest cause. 

When asked what was most likely to unite us as a country “Shared Values” topped the list at 21% followed by a “National Crises” (17%) and “National Defense/External Threats” (17%). 

“When looking at national division, there is greater intensity found in Republican responses,” said Duff. “Perhaps that’s because Republicans have heard many more intense messages from leaders in news and social media about stolen elections and rigged processes but the animosity and distrust clearly extend beyond party boundaries. The attack on Paul Pelosi is yet another indication that our rhetoric has gone entirely too far.” 

The Common Good Index of National Division (TCGI) will be released annually. To get more details on this year’s results here: 

About The Common Good

The Common Good strives to inspire broad participation in our democracy through the free exchange of ideas and civil dialogue and seeks to find ways to bridge the growing divisions that threaten our nation. We are dedicated to finding common ground and, through forums and initiatives, encourage the civic engagement so essential for a thriving democracy. 

Contact: Patrick Fox 
781 385-9433 

SOURCE The Common Good