Tracking America’s Political Pulse

The Polarization Research Lab has launched a new visual dashboard for understanding partisan animosity in America. For the first time, anyone can view accurate and up-to-date polling on the state of polarization and democracy in America just by visiting the free and public PRL website. 

Using data from the Lab’s weekly tracking survey of 42,000 responses (and counting) since October 2022, the dashboard provides gauges on:

  • Levels of polarization over time by party and state 
  • Attitudes toward trust (in institutions and elected leaders)
  • Support for democratic values
  • Support for violations of democratic norms
  • Support for political violence 

Viewers can easily track trends in these measures across states in map form, by total count, or by party in easy-to-read visualizations. 

With our publicly available data and new dashboard, PRL hopes to empower citizens–voters, students, practitioners, members of the media, and elected officials–with the information needed to understand the status of American democracy from the national to local level. 

The dashboard includes scores and rankings of states for levels of polarization and support for democratic norm violations. In the future, as we collect more data, we will provide this detail down to the county level, making the dashboard an invaluable resource for community groups and local leaders seeking to understand their constituents. 

Existing surveys that reach a large number of Americans only do so at incremental points in time, and small polls often fail to interview sufficient numbers of respondents to generalize the findings. As a result, citizens, the media, and our elected officials respond to this piecemeal data, which does not accurately reflect Americans’ attitudes, leaving us with messaging and information that at best is inaccurate and at worst aggravates polarization. 

America’s Political Pulse fills this critical gap in the data available on partisan animosity by collecting daily responses over 3+ years. This level of granularity allows PRL for the first time to examine the effects on polarization and democracy of political moments in real time, such as the midterm elections, court rulings, and the indictment of President Trump. 

Having consistent, accurate data is essential to understanding the strengths of American democracy as well as the areas of weakness, and is the only viable first step in identifying the causes of partisan polarization and developing possible solutions.  

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