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The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

The Intersection of Insight and Journalism

​Divided America: Perceptions of What Unites and Divides the Country

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national survey of 1,008 adults using AmeriSpeak, finding that a large majority of Americans say the country is greatly divided over values and politics.

​​​Large numbers of Americans see their country as divided over values and politics, and they do not expect those schisms to shrink any time soon. But the recent poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also finds most Americans say members of their own community agree on important values, and they feel they have a lot in common with their neighbors.

While few Americans say they have much in common with people of different religions or ethnic backgrounds, most of the public believes the racial, ethnic, and religious diversity of the United States makes the country stronger.

The nationwide poll of 1,008 adults was part of the AmeriSpeak® Omnibus, a monthly multi-client survey using NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based panel. Interviews were conducted between June 23 and 27, 2016, online and using landlines and cell phones.

Three Things You Should Know about
The AP-NORC Poll on Divided America:

Among All American Adults:

  1. Eighty percent say Americans are divided on most important values, and 85 percent say the country is more politically divided today than it was in the past.
  2. Most Americans (56 percent) say diversity makes the United States stronger, 16 percent say it makes the country weaker, and 28 percent say it has no effect. 
  3. Neither candidate for President is seen as capable of uniting the country. But, while 43 percent say Clinton’s election would increase division, 73 percent say that about Trump’s election.