Political polarization is the leading social rift of our time. Perhaps the clearest example is the U.S. federal government. Currently, it is at an all-time low. However, political conflict is not limited to federal government officials. It also affects the general public. As one group of social scientists put it, “the most significant fault line in the second decade of the twenty-first century [in America] is not race, religion, or economic status but political party affiliation.” This political conflict has expressed itself in civic activities, such as a steep decline in split-ticket voting as well as personal choices.
Given the pervasive impacts of political polarization, local governments are likely to be impacted as well, even if elections are nonpartisan.
- Publication date: August 2022
- Authors: Mylien Duong, Shayne Kavanagh, Caroline Mehl, and Keith Welker