2024 Election Politics: How Divided Are We Really?

Common Ground Committee Let's Find Common Ground Episode 107

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2024 Election Politics: How Divided Are We Really?

Partisan divides are as deep as ever. Most Americans are exhausted by the dysfunction and divisions in American politics. Some scholars claim the country is on the brink of civil war. However, several recent polls suggest that there is agreement on many issues by a clear majority of voters.

We dive into the data from two groups that study American attitudes and beliefs.

Kate Carney is chief of staff for the nonpartisan research organization More in Common. Her work aims to help build strong communities for a strong country.

John Geer is a professor of political science who leads the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy. He discusses Vanderbilt’s findings on trust in institutions and democracy.

Hear some of their surprising findings on this episode of “Let’s Find Common Ground.”

Kate Carney

Common Ground Committee Kate Carney headshotKate Carney is Chief of Staff at More in Common US, a non-partisan research and civic organization that studies the forces pulling America apart, seeking to disrupt polarization and forge a stronger sense of what Americans have in common. She has over a decade of multisector experience that includes policy advising on Capitol Hill, founding a nonprofit in Haiti, and leading corporate social responsibility programs at a Fortune 100 company.

She also is a proud Gold Looper, having circumnavigated 8,000 miles of U.S. eastern waterways on a 31-foot trawler around the Great Loop. She has a MPP from University of Maryland and a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she also serves on the Board of Trustees. Kate lives with her husband, Tim, in Washington, DC.

John Geer

Common Ground Committee John Geer headshotJohn G. Geer is a professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. In 2023 he was named a senior advisor to Chancellor Daniel Diermeier on key strategic initiatives that promote democracy, free expression and open dialogue—all flagship priorities for the university.

Geer helped to launch and currently manages the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & Democracy, a trans-institutional initiative that aims to overcome political polarization through sound research and evidence-based discourse. Geer is a founder of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and co-directs the influential Vanderbilt Poll. Geer has published five books and more than 20 articles on presidential politics and elections, and previously served as editor of The Journal of Politics. Geer joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1995. He earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1986 and his bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1980. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, he was on the faculty at Arizona State University.