Is America Really So Divided?
A Polarized Nation?
Most public opinion surveys ask participants to identify themselves on a seven-point scale: extremely liberal; liberal; slightly liberal; moderate/middle of the road; slightly conservative; conservative; extremely conservative. But about 30 percent of the public doesn’t answer that question, Wagner says, while the majority of those who do answer say they are moderate. “And so people run to the conclusion, ‘Oh, we have a bunch of moderates,’” he says.