New data as part of the Survey Center on American Life, a project of AEI, reveals that our polarized discourse is impacting most Americans. Yet, the data also shows that most Americans are still open minded enough to find common ground with others who disagree with them. ….When the respondents were asked to choose between two statements about the issues they care most about, 79 percent believe that it is possible to compromise and find common ground with people who disagree with you and only 19 percent state that it is not possible to compromise and find common ground with people who disagree with you.
The data also make it clear that Americans across the political spectrum feel this way: 79 percent of liberal identifiers believe that compromise is possible with the number being higher at 85 percent for moderates. While the figure dips a bit for conservatives at 73 percent, slight conservative and slight liberal identifiers jump back into the low 80s, making it clear that large majorities of Americans believe common ground can be found. This is encouraging and suggests we need to talk to one another and create avenues outside of extreme media outlets that amplify differences online. Instead, we need to promote the give and take that exists in the real world.