With just months to go until the fall’s midterm elections, voters feel strongly that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Fueled by self-segregation into like minded communities, Americans feel that political division remains a key problem in the nation’s civil discourse.
According to the latest Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics) Battleground Civility Poll, voters are expressing a higher level of concern over the level of polarization in the country.
When asked about political division on a scale of 0 to 100 (with 0 being no division at all and 100 being the edge of civil war), respondents gave a mean score of 71.74, a slight increase to feelings in the previous battleground poll with a mean score of 70.36. There was a decrease in voters who agree with the statement “I am optimistic about the future because young people are committed to making this country a better place to live for everyone,” with a net decrease of 23%.
However, while there was a notable decline in agreement on this statement, there was majority agreement (55%) among voters aged 18-34, signaling that the younger generation still views themselves as agents of change.
Hope remains in other portions of the polling, particularly as it pertains to candidates willing to compromise to get things done. Two thirds of respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate willing to compromise with others as opposed to a candidate who consistently fights for values. This answer has remained consistent over more than two years of polling, with at least 65% of respondents selecting the candidate willing to compromise to create change in each poll.
This response is particularly prominent among younger voters in the 18-34 demographic with 72% preferring the compromise candidate over the fighter. Self-described centrists also strongly prefer compromise and civility. These voters make up 67% of respondents to this survey, highlighting a key bloc of voters that overwhelmingly prefer the candidate willing to compromise (73%).
The latest GU Politics Battleground Civility Poll of 1,000 registered voters was conducted by Republican pollster and former GU Politics Fellow Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber of the Tarrance Group, and Democratic pollsters Celinda Lake, Daniel Gotoff, Sandra Markowitz, and McCauley Pugh of Lake Research Partners between July 17-21, 2022, and has a margin of error of + 3.5%.
To learn more about the poll, see the questionnaire, charts, tables, and analysis visit: https://politics.georgetown.edu/battleground-poll/
View the full press release with detailed results here, or click on the links below to view data and individual summaries from Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group:
Lake Summary Graphics and Slides