More than 90 percent of Americans in a new poll say bridging political divides in the U.S. is important amid the polarization of modern society.
The Public Agenda–USA Today–Ipsos poll released Thursday found that 90 percent of respondents said that it is important for Americans to try to seek common ground with political foes. Another 83 percent said that they think divisiveness is a "big problem."
Pollsters also found 87 percent of Americans said that their own personal lives are headed in the right direction, but just 27 percent said the same about the country overall. Some 69 percent said that their local community is on the right track.
"I think they divide us with their rhetoric, because if we ever come together, we'll kick their butts out, and they know that," Walley Naylor, a 66-year-old New Jersey Republican, told pollsters.
Respondents also said that social media platforms and journalists are the most likely to benefit from divisiveness and blamed the two institutions for polarization in society.
"Now it depends on what channel and what station you watch," a 35-year-old Democrat told pollsters. "Wasn't the media supposed to be neutral, to report on facts? Now it seems like the media is about their agenda, what they're for. It's political now."
The Public Agenda–USA Today–Ipsos survey of 1,548 adults, conducted Oct. 14-21, has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.