This collection on American democracy challenges and complements blog posts and opinion pieces that are typical staples of the 24/7 news cycle in the lead up to US elections. You'll find reports about election and campaign administration, voting access and participation, government performance and perceptions, the role of the media in civil society, and more.

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"VOTE!" by Paul Sableman licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Featured

Defusing the History Wars: Finding Common Ground in Teaching America’s National Story

December 1, 2022

Our recent survey found that people have more in common than they think when it comes to their opinions on U.S. history. However, they incorrectly think members of the opposing party have views much different than they do - this is called a perception gap and it creates imagined enemies of their fellow Americans.

Civic Participation

2022 Midterm Elections in Ohio

December 8, 2022

A survey of more than 1,000 adult Ohioans on their views of the recent midterm elections in their state and their attitudes towards the political climate.

Campaigns and Elections

Americans' Memories of the Civil Rights Movement

August 22, 2022

This new survey released by More in Common finds deep appreciation amongAmericans for the civil rights movement and broad support for teaching about the movement and its legacy, despite polarized debates about race and the teaching of American history in today's public discourse. 

Fourth of July in America: American Identity Research Project May - June 2022

June 29, 2022

Although the United States has always had competing narratives about its national identity, today the competition has transformed into a dangerous fight. A critical piece of moving America towards a healthier, more inclusive democracy will be lifting up narratives of national identity that can reach and resonate across lines of difference.Since 2020, More in Common has been studying beliefs and attitudes towards American identity and how they vary across groups in the United States. Beginning in February 2022, More in Common began organizing monthly meetings of a table of non-profits and civil society partners who are similarly invested in the subject of American history and identity, and who want to act from an evidence base to draw Americans together. These partners serve as collaborators and informal advisers on this project.In May and June 2022, More in Common partnered with YouGov to field a national survey to a representative sample of 2,500 adult U.S. citizens. This survey is the first of three that will be fielded in 2022 to explore associations with American identity, figures and events in American history, connections to national holidays, aspirations for our shared future, and more.The attitudes captured in the data show significant concerns around Americas future and its ability to live up to its ideals. The findings also reveal a wide spectrum of strength of attachment to American identity. Between the points of polarization, we see meaningful commonality in seeing the United States with nuance and humility, indicating the potential for American identity to help transcend conflict between groups and bridge lines of political division. Many Americans share the same family narratives, aspirations for the country, and support for various historic figures, events and holidays.

Civic Participation

Juneteenth: American Identity Research Project May-June 2022

June 6, 2022

The recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday presents a new opportunity to reflect on lessons of the past and weave more Americans' histories into our shared identity. In May and June 2022, More in Common partnered with YouGov to field a national survey to a representative sample of 2,500 adult U.S. citizens. This survey is the first of three that will be fielded in 2022 to explore associations with American identity, figures and events in American history, connections to national holidays, aspirations for our shared future, and more.

It's Complicated: People and Their Democracy in Germany, France, Britain, Poland, and the United States

July 1, 2021

This in-depth study explores how citizens in five countries (Germany, France, Britain, Poland, and the United States) feel about democracy, their frustrations, and their demands, with a particular focus on those with an ambivalent relationship with democracy.

Civic Participation; Government

Two Stories of Distrust in America

May 1, 2021

This report presents the findings of multiple largescale national surveys of Americans about the state of trust in America. It finds significant evidence for deep and widespread levels of distrust across society. Among national institutions—government, media, and business— More in Common tested in December 2020, none earned the trust of a majority of Americans. Levels of interpersonal trust were similarly concerning, with a majority of Americans saying you "can't be too careful in dealing with other people" and one in three Americans saying there is no community outside of friends and family where they feel a strong sense of belonging.These topline findings paint a stark picture. If we probe deeper, however, we discern important distinctions in the probable drivers of distrust. Understanding these nuances does not make the overall picture brighter, but it can illuminate potential solutions and pathways to renew trust. Two distinctive "stories" of distrust are evident in the data—an ideological 'us versus them' distrust and a 'social distrust' that tracks interactions and feelings of belonging, dignity, and equality. These two stories are not fully comprehensive of the myriad drivers of distrust in America, but they capture distinctive ways distrust relates to ideology and experience. It is a challenging moment to generate broader consensus that building trust should be a national priority. This report focuses on how drivers of distrust vary among Americans as these distinctions may provide new opportunities for such efforts.

Civic Participation; Government

The Threads of Texas: A story of enduring identity in a changing state

April 26, 2021

The Threads of Texas is a research project launched by More in Common to understand change in Texas: the divergent views toward change that are pulling Texans apart, and the shared identity and dreams for the future that can bring Texans together.Texas is continuously in a state of change — economically, politically, demographically. As Texas grapples with major changes, how do Texans across age, race, and political parties hold onto what they perceive as "truly Texan?" How does Texas replicate its DNA to maintain its sense of identity as new people, new ideas, and new industries make their homes in the state? These questions have become more urgent as the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 winter storm challenge the Texas social and economic landscape.These are the questions that inspired More in Common to launch a landmark study of the state of Texas. In 2020 and 2021, we heard from over 4000 Texans from across the state, including experts in Texan culture and leaders of Texas industries. We capture the striking and ultimately hopeful attitudes of Texans: We find that although Texans on far ends of the ideological spectrum feel exhausted by political divisions, most Texans say that the ties that bind us are stronger than what divides us. They believe in a changing Texas where everyone feels they belong.

Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape

March 22, 2019

This report lays out the findings of a large-scale national survey of Americans about the current state of civic life in the United States. It provides substantial evidence of deep polarization and growing tribalism. It shows that this polarization is rooted in something deeper than political opinions and disagreements over policy. But it also provides some evidence for optimism, showing that 77 percent of Americans believe our differences are not so great that we cannot come together.