Study Shows Some Good News Out of an Increasingly Divided US

71% of Americans now calling for compromise and an end to gridlocked government.

NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Common Good Index, the annual study that tracks levels of national division and its underlying causes has been released for 2023.

Conducted in association with Emerson College, this year’s survey shows national division increasing over last year. The Common Good Index of National Division for 2022 was 70.9 while 2023’s measure rose to 71.4 but it also shows growing public pressure for compromise.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of citizens prefer compromise to governmental paralysis. A desire for compromise prevailed across all parties including Democrats (77%), Independents (71%), and Republicans (68%). 86% of respondents also believe that those with whom they disagree politically are, at the very least, “good and honest people.”  

79% of the country supports laws to protect the rights of all voters and 80% would support a nationwide civics education program in schools focused on American history, principles, and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Most residents (58%), support an independent, bipartisan redistricting of Congressional Districts to stop the manipulation of districts to benefit single parties.

But all the news is not good.

  • 79% say the country is more divided than last year.
  • 71% believe the greatest threat to the country is internal rather than external.
  • Two-thirds (65%) believe that “our government is so divided that it is no longer effective.”
  • More than three-quarters (76%) believe that “most politicians promote and encourage national division” out of self-interest.
  • 77% of respondents view disinformation from social and news media as a “very” or “somewhat serious” threat to the survival of American democracy.
  • 72% believe that national division poses a threat to our democracy- an 11-point jump over last year’s study.
  • 56% say political correctness or “wokeness” is a major source of national division.
  • 61% say society is so divided, they are sometimes afraid to express an opinion.
  • 44% are not sure our democracy will survive the next decade and 20% say it will not.
  • 59% of Americans have family and friends with whom they can no longer discuss politics.
  • While 70% believe political violence is rarely or never justified, those 18-29 are far more accepting of political violence with 55% saying violence is always, often or sometimes justified.

“We cannot just ignore or wish away the division that saps our nation’s cohesion and our ability to move the country forward,” said Patricia Duff, founder of The Common Good. “There’s a bit of hope in our findings that people are tired of the bickering, extreme positions and political infighting, and, instead, would favor more compromise in addressing our problems and a greater emphasis on the shared values that bind us all as Americans.”

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.

Media Contact:
Patricia Duff
917 331-0123

SOURCE The Common Good