Jun 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Charted: Two Americas Index

Percentage who say they have <span style="border-bottom: 2px solid #000;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span> in the past year
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Just 38% of Americans say they have something in common with people of a different race, ethnic background or political party — but that's much higher than six months ago, according to the new Axios-Ipsos Two Americas Index.

Why it matters: Opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine may be one factor bringing Americans together, researchers said, and as the 2020 election recedes, people may be more open to seeing past their differences.

The big picture: These are key early takeaways from the monthly national poll, which looks at polarization through the lens of social behavior and responses to events in the news.

  • We welcome your ideas for questions.

How it works: Starting last December, respondents each month were asked: When was the last time you shared a meal with someone from a different racial or ethnic group or political party than you own?

  • They also were asked: How much, if anything, do you think you have in common with Americans who identify as white / Black / Hispanic / Asian / Democrats / Republicans / evangelical Christians / agnostic?

By the numbers: The percentage of Americans sharing a meal with someone in a different group essentially stayed flat, from 52% in December to 50% in May.

  • But the share saying they have something in common with people from different groups rose, from 28% to 38%. That rise appeared to cement in February, the same month Russia invaded Ukraine.

What they're saying: "We have seen a change in the sentiment even if we haven’t seen a change in the behavior," said Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson.

  • "It does suggest if we can get people to interact socially with other people, we can build better bridges across society," Jackson said. "How to do that is the challenge."
  • Justin Gest, an associate professor at George Mason University who studies the politics of demographic change, also advised the project.

What we're watching: How the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and congressional efforts at a bipartisan compromise to address gun violence, will impact Americans' sense of commonality.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll is conducted monthly by Ipsos on their online survey panels in English. This poll is based on a sample of approximately 1,000 general population adults age 18 or older per month, weighted on age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and location to be nationally representative.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
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