2.23.19 The Nation Debates Pluralism

Media outlets around the country have taken notice of the latest PRRI/The Atlantic,“American Democracy in Crisis: The Fate of Pluralism in a Divided Nation.” Released on Thursday, the third survey in this series shines a light on the many divisions that exist in the United States today. Philip Bump writes at The Washington Post, “The research was focused on evaluating diversity in the United States and covered a range of questions centered on differences that exist within American society.” According to Bump, one of the study’s most surprising results was the difference between Republicans and Democrats when asked which type of person they would be unhappy about marrying into their family. “The spouse that would make the most Republicans unhappy was if their child announced plans to marry someone who identified as transgender,” Bump writes. “Among Democrats? If the child planned to marry a Republican.”
In a piece for Vox, Matthew Yglesias looks at what the survey says about race relations and the country’s growing racial diversity. “Few Republicans say outright that they wish the country would maintain its white, European majority forever, but only 29 percent say they prefer the idea of a more diverse ethnic mix in the country,” Yglesias writes. “Among Democrats — who are disproportionately likely to be nonwhite themselves — 65 percent welcome an increase in diversity, with independents somewhere in between.” According to Yglesias, the partisan divide shown in the survey “illuminates the subtext to many ongoing debates in US partisan politics.”
At the National Review, David French looks at how infrequently some Americans interact with people affiliated with other political parties, and finds the results troubling. According to the PRRI/The Atlantic survey, just 39 percent of Americans interact with people from a different political party at least a few times a year. French’s piece was inspired by an article by Emma Green of The Atlantic. In that article, Green writes, “Even those Americans who regularly encounter political diversity don’t necessarily choose it.” French adds in his own article, “Most people interact with people of different faiths or parties at work. When the interactions get more voluntary, they’re of course more exclusive. A minority of Americans interact with people of different parties or faiths in friendship circles, an even smaller minority in families, and much smaller minorities in civic organizations, schools, and churches.”
Articles in CityLab and The New Republic also explore data from the new PRRI/The Atlantic survey about attitudes toward the potential addition of a question about citizenship to the upcoming census.

 You can read the full report here.