Americans are just as divided as they were before the election

Additionally, the Axios/Ipsos Two Americas Index finds most Americans feel that Thanksgiving celebrations are not the time to discuss politics

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Jocelyn Duran Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Charlie Rollason Senior Research Analyst
Get in touch

Washington DC, November 24, 2022 – In the first post-election wave of the Axios/Ipsos Two Americas Index, Americans are largely feeling just as divided as they were before election. Relatedly, following the results of the election, Americans are roughly split on whether they feel better or worse about their fellow Americans. Perhaps to related to the divided nature of the country, many Americans don’t feel that politics has a place at the Thanksgiving table.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 18-21, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults, age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents

Detailed findings:

After a contentious midterm cycle that ended peacefully, the Two Americas Index is stable, sitting at 40%.

Republicans and Democrats remain at odds with one another.

    • Republicans (58%) are more likely than Democrats (48%) to report that they have had a meal with someone of another party in the past year. On the other hand, independents (59%) remain most likely to report not sharing a meal with someone of a different political affiliation in the past year or ever compared to Democrats (52%) or Republicans (42%).
    • The vast majority of Democrats still feel they have little to nothing in common with Republicans, a view that hasn’t changed significantly since late September (79% now vs. 78% last wave). Republicans’ attitudes towards Democrats are unmoved too (76% felt they have little to nothing in common with Democrats in late September vs. 74% now).
    • Most independents feel they have little to nothing in common with either party, something that is unchanged wave-over-wave (65% feeling this way in late September vs. 66% now).
trend
    • There has been no change in the share of white, Black, or Hispanic Americans who feel they have little to nothing in common with people of other races or ethnicities.

Following the midterm elections, Americans hold mixed feelings about the results:

  • About two in five (41%) say they are relieved by the results of the election (59% of Democrats vs. 38% of Republicans), compared to 50% who say they were worried by the results of the election.
  • A similar share (42%) say they feel better about their fellow Americans following the results (57% of Democrats vs. 41% of Republicans), while 37% say they feel worse about their fellow Americans (44% of Republicans compared to 35% of Democrats).
  • Just under half of Americans (46%) feel surprised by the results of the election (49% of Democrats vs. 54% of Republicans).

This wave, the index also explored how Americans discuss politics with their families during the holidays. Even as most Americans say they will be spending time with their family this Thanksgiving, most will not be talking about politics:

  • Among those spending time with their family, just 31% said they will probably talk about the election, while 58% say they won’t. Democrats are most likely to say they will talk politics with their family (41%) compared to 29% of Republicans.
  • Most Americans (77%) say that Thanksgiving celebrations are not the time to discuss politics. Republicans (81%) are more likely to say this than Democrats (74%).
  • Three in five Americans say they agree with their family on most current political issues (59%) – interestingly, Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to say this (67% each).

For complete results, please download the fully annotated questionnaire.

Washington DC, October 10, 2022 – The latest wave of the Axios/Ipsos Two Americas Index indicates the country is as divided as it was a month ago. Even as this is true, looking ahead, a sizeable minority of Democrats (26%) and Republicans (39%) feel it is likely that election fraud may be the reason their side does not win control of Congress in November. In spite of this, nearly twice as many Democrats and Republicans feel hopeful (37% Republican and 35% Democrat) rather than dread (14% for Republicans and 19% for Democrats) when thinking about the 2022 congressional elections.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 28-29, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 1,004 adults, age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents.
Detailed findings:

The Axios/Ipsos Two Americas Index is stable, sitting at 40%. That stability is driven by both the party affiliation sub-index (33%) and race sub-index (46%), both of which have not changed substantially since last month.

  • In the past year, independents are more likely than Democrats or Republicans to have not shared a meal with people of either party. Partisan attitudes are largely baked in otherwise.
    • Independents (52%) are more likely than Democrats (46%) or Republicans (45%) to have not shared a meal with someone of another party in the past year or ever. There has been no change in the share of Democrats, Republicans, or independents sharing meals with someone of another party.
    • Democrats are unchanged in their stance toward Republicans. Last wave, 79% of Democrats said they have little to nothing in common with Republicans. For this latest wave, 78% of Democrats feel the same. Republicans’ attitudes towards Democrats are set too (77% felt they have little to nothing in common with Democrats in early September vs. 76% in late September).
    • Most independents feel they have little to nothing in common with either party, something that is unchanged wave-over-wave (65% felt this way in early September vs. 65% feeling this way in late September).Index overtime

       

  • The race sub-index also held stable (49% in early September vs. 46% in late September).
    • There has been no change in the share of white, Black, or Hispanic Americans who feel they have little to nothing in common with people of other races or ethnicities.
    • Additionally, the share of Americans who say they have had a meal with someone of another race is stable.

Ahead of the midterms, the index finds that a substantial minority of Americans on both sides of the aisle feel that if their party does not win enough seats to take control of Congress, its likely because of election fraud.

  • A sizeable minority feel that election fraud could be a likely explanation if their side does not win enough seats to control Congress in November.
    • More Republicans (39%) than Democrats (25%) feel that if their side doesn’t win enough seats to control Congress, it is likely because of election fraud. About twice as many Republicans (19%) as Democrats (11%) feel it is highly likely that this could be the case.
    • On the other hand, a majority (60%) of Democrats feel it is unlikely that their parties’ loss of Congress could be explained through election fraud. Just over one in three (36%) Republicans feel it is unlikely.
    • One in four Republicans (26%) and 15% of Democrats aren’t sure what to think on the issue.
  • Americans are split on whether they will vote for Democratic (35%) or Republican (31%) candidates in November.
    • When given the choice between the two, most (69%) who say they are voting for Democrats say they are voting to support Democrats and their policies, while 3 in 10 (27%) say their vote for Democrats is a vote against Republicans and their policies.
    • Similarly, two in three (65%) who say they are voting for Republicans say they are voting to support Republicans and their policies, compared to 3 in 10 (30%) who say they are voting against Democrats and their policies.
  • At the same time, three in ten Americans (30%) say they feel hope when thinking about the 2022 congressional election, and 17% feel dread, the next most frequently cited emotion.
    • Republicans (37%) and Democrats (35%) are equally likely to say they feel hope and dread (19% for Democrats and 14% for Republicans).

For complete results, please download the fully annotated questionnaire.

Washington DC, September 12, 2022 – The latest wave of the Axios/Ipsos Two Americas Index finds that Americans are no more or less divided than they were last month. At the same time, many support democratic principles, with notable bipartisan agreement on many measures. Separately, some feel that student loan relief does not go far enough, and most say it does not solve any long-term affordability issues with higher education.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 1-2, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 adults, age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents
 

Detailed findings:

  • The Two Americas Index remains stable, sitting at 42%. That stability is driven by the stability of both the party affiliation sub-index (35%) and race sub-index (49%). While partisan attitudes towards the other side are baked in, independents are, to some extent, turning away from Republicans.
    • Democrats are unchanged in their stance toward Republicans, with 79% feeling they have little to nothing in common with Republicans compared to 80% in July. Republicans’ attitudes towards Democrats are set too (79% in late July vs. 77% in early September). However, the share of independents who feel they have little to nothing in common with Republicans rose from 69% in late July to 79% in early September, the highest reading since tracking began in December and significantly higher than it was compared to the pre-Dobbs reading in May (63%).
Two Americas Index
  • Additionally, the share of Americans who say they have had a meal with someone of another race is stable.
    • While this is stable overall, the share of Black Americans who have had a meal with people of all races that are not their own has risen from 19% in July to 32% in early September, back in line with the average reading for the index.
      • This is driven by the share of Black Americans who report having more meals with white people (53% in July vs. 68% in September, the highest reading of the index), and with Hispanic people (44% in late July vs. 56% in early September)

This month’s index also tracked attitudes towards democratic norms, finding that Americans, regardless of party, largely reject non-democratic norms.

  • Half of Americans (48%) disagree that is it is better to have a strong, unelected leader than a weak leader who is elected by the people, while one third agree (33%). Republicans are more likely to agree (42%) with this than Democrats (31%).
  • Americans are split on whether the government should comply with interests of the majority, even if it comes at the expense of ethnic and religious minority groups’ civil rights (38% agree, 41% disagree and 21% are unsure).
    • Interestingly, partisanship does not drive attitudes here, with Democrats (38%), Republicans (39%), and independents (37%) agreeing at roughly equal rates.
  • A majority of Americans (51%) disagreed that the government of the United States should be empowered to prosecute members of the news media who make offensive or unpatriotic statements, including 53% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans.
  • Forty-three percent of Americans disagree that the President of the United States should be able to remove judges when their decisions go against national interest. Republicans are more likely to disagree (57%) than Democrats (39%).

Additionally, the index explored student loan forgiveness this month; Americans are split on their perceptions of fairness and the general impact of the student loan forgiveness program on the economy. But a majority agree that the program will not solve the problem of the cost of higher education.

  • Three in four Americans (74%) agree that student loan forgiveness will not solve the long-term problem of the cost of higher education, with bipartisan agreement among 74% of Democrats, 82% of Republicans, and 63% of independents.
  • In fact, two in five Americans say that the federal student loan forgiveness does not go far enough to help those in need (40%). Democrats are more likely to agree (53%) than Republicans (27%) or independents (33%).
  • More than half of Americans (54%) say that student loan forgiveness, no matter the amount, is unfair to those who paid back their loans or saved for education.
    • Republicans (76%) and independents (47%) are more likely to agree than Democrats (38%).
  • One third of Americans (36%) expressed anger at the people who took out student loans that are now being forgiven by the government. Republicans (50%) are most likely to say this, compared to 26% of Democrats and independents.

For complete results, please download the fully annotated questionnaire.

 

Washington DC, August 08, 2022 – The Two Americas Index remains stable, sitting at 40%. Notably, the index has not rebounded from its post-Roe fall, when it dropped to its lowest point.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 27-28, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 1,006 adults, age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents

Detailed findings:

The party affiliation sub-index recovered slightly, moving two points between June (32%) and July (34%). However, it remains muted compared to where it stood in May (37%).

  • In that vein, Democrats have softened their stance toward Republicans. Last month, 85% of Democrats said they had little to nothing in common with Republicans. This month that’s down to 80% of Democrats, though it remains above the pre-Dobbs reading of 74%. Republicans have not registered a similar change in sentiment (75% having little to nothing in common with Democrats in May vs. 79% in June and July).
  • Independents remain more hostile to both parties compared to pre-Dobbs. Three in five (61%) feel they have little to nothing in common with either party, which is down slightly from last month when 65% felt the same. Still, that’s an elevated feeling of hostility relative to the May wave, when 52% of independents reported they had little to nothing in common with either party.Index July

The race sub-index also held stable (46% in June vs. 47% in July). Like the party affiliation sub-index, the numbers remain below their pre-Dobbs reading, when the sub-index sat at 51%.

  • Some of the top-line stability hides a messier picture underneath. While the share of Hispanic Americans who feel they have little to nothing in common with people of other races has come down since last month (14% in May vs. 26% in June vs. 19% in July), white Americans are feeling a growing sense of disconnect towards other races.
  • Between May and July, the share of white respondents who feel they have little to nothing in common with people of other races has grown by 10-points (43% in May, 48% in June, and 53% in July).

This month's index also examined the reasoning behind Americans who are considering a move to another state (30% of Americans) .

  • Cost of living is the top contributor to a desire to move to a blue (55%), red (50%), or swing state (66%). Personal/family reasons (31%), jobs (30%), and taxation (28% are the next most important reasons for considering a move.
  • Among the Americans who have considered moving in the last 6 months, it’s a draw between whether they would go to blue (34%) or red (38%) states. Twenty-eight percent have considered moving to a swing state (28%). Democrats are more likely to consider moving to blue states (48%) than red (25%) or swing states (27%), and Republicans are more likely to consider moving to red states (51%) than blue states (20%) or swing states (28%).
  • A majority of those who have considered moving say that a different state’s residents may be more likely to share their cultural or social values (54%). This is especially true among those considering moving to a blue state (64%), compared to those looking to a move a red state (47%) or a swing state (54%). A majority of Democrats and Republicans say they have considered moving to a state that better reflects their policy/political values (55% and 58% respectively) or to a state where residents may be more likely to share their cultural/social values (69% and 65% respectively).
  • About two in five say they are interested in moving to a state where their vote would “count” more (38%). Interestingly, there is no difference among those who are considering moving a red/blue/swing state. However, the index shows a difference among Americans in different income tiers. Americans who live in households where they are earning between $50K-$100K per year are more likely than lower income Americans to say they considered moving because a different state’s government may better reflect their political values (57%), their cultural values (63%), and that they believe their vote may count more (50%).
     

Washington DC, July 08, 2022 – The latest wave of the Axios/Ipsos Two Americas Index finds that politics acts as a stronger dividing force than religion or race. In that vein, few feel like the country will come together in the next five years. This, in part, may be due to the significant divisions the poll finds on the most pressing news topics, like guns and abortion.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 29-30, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 1,003 adults, age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents

Detailed findings:

Politics acts as a bigger social wedge than religion or race.

  • Americans are more likely to say that people with opposing political views don’t share their values (45%), than those of differing religious background (35%) and racial backgrounds (25%). Democrats are more likely to say this (54%) than Republicans (45%). Democrats are also more likely to agree people with different religious backgrounds don’t share their values (40%) than Republicans (30%). Just a quarter of Republicans (23%) and Democrats (25%) agree that people of different religious values don’t share their values.

Race, religion, and partisanship continue to divide the country, with few thinking the country will reconcile its differences in the next five years.

  • 83% of Republican and 72% of Democrats say they have a lot/some in common with white Americans. Republicans (46%) and Democrats (48%) are equally likely to say they have a lot/some in common with Hispanic Americans.
  • Republicans are most likely to say they have something in common Evangelicals (50%), where just 23% of Democrats feel the same way.
  • Just 15% of Democrats say they have a lot/some in common with Republicans and 21% of Republicans feel the same about Democrats.
  • Most are not confident that we will reconcile our differences in the next five years (65%) – this proportion is the same for Democrats (67%) and Republicans (69%).

These cleavages are also pronounced when it comes to some of the most salient news topics, like guns and abortions.

  • Americans are most likely to say that they agree that gun ownership should have common sense regulations (80%), including 89% of Democrats and 80% of Republicans.
  • Seven in ten Americans agree than decisions about abortion should only be made by a woman and her doctor (69%). Democrats overwhelming agree (87%). Republicans are divided on the issue, but a majority agree (53%).
  • When thinking about SCOTUS overturning Roe v Wade, on 1-10 scale, with 10 being “extremely” and 1 being “not at all”, Democrats average 7.8 for anger, 7.3 for despair, 3 for joyful, and 3.1 for satisfied. Republicans report less emotional intensity, with an average for anger at 3.9, 3.8 for despair, 5.3 for joyful, and 5.8 for satisfied.
  • Americans are more likely to say that they have a little or nothing in common with Evangelical Christians (55%) than other groups, including agnostics (51%), Republicans (50%) and Democrats (47%). Looking at this question from a racial/ethnic lens, Americans are most likely to say they have a lot/some in common with white people (73%), and they are least likely to have something in common with Asian people (36%). About half of Americans say they have a lot/some in common with Black Americans (49%) and two in five have something in common with Hispanic Americans (44%).

 

Washington, DC, June 1, 2022–A new monthly tracking poll investigates what Americans think they have in common with people of different races or party affiliations, whether people have sat down and had a meal with someone of different races or party affiliations, and people’s confidence in the country’s ability to come together in the next five years.

This month the poll finds that while three in four Americans have shared a meal with a white person in the past six months, under half had shared a meal with a Black, Hispanic, or Asian person. On the other hand, about half of respondents had meals with Democrats and Republicans alike.

At the same time, more Americans feel that people with opposing political views don’t share their values, nearly double the number who feel the same about people of different races or religions.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 9-10, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents.

Detailed Findings:

Notably, there are large differences in who Americans share a meal with by race.

  • Three quarters (77%) of Americans report having a meal with a white person in the last six months. At the same time, under half report having a meal with either a Black (47%), Asian (43%), or Hispanic (42%) person over the same period.
  • At the same time, half of Americans have had a meal in the last six months with both Republicans (50%) and Democrats (50%).

The number of people who feel they have something in common with the groups tested mirrors the share of people who have shared a meal with the following demographics in the past six months.

  • Three in four Americans feel they have something in common with white people. Similarly, 77% of Americans have had a meal with a white person in the past six months.
    • The larger share of white Americans in the sample, which is representative of the U.S. population, largely drives this gap.
  • There’s a similar pattern when the survey asks about feelings of commonality and sharing a meal with Black people (commonality 53% vs. meal sharing 47%), Hispanic people (47% vs. 42%), Democrats (48% vs. 50%), and Republicans (47% vs. 50%).
  • The one exception is for Asian people. While only 29% of respondents shared a meal with an Asian person in the past six months, 43% feel they have something in common with Asian Americans.

Americans view partisanship as a more divisive fault line than race or religion.

  • Forty-six percent of Americans feel that people with opposing political views don’t share their values. That’s about half the share (26%) who think that people with different racial or religious background don’t share their values.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 28 and 29, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 1,004 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.

The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, education, and partisan identification

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,004, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.3 percentage points).

The results of this poll are trended against the following previous polls:

December 13-17, 2021; N=4,407; CI: +/- 1.8

February 7-8, 2022; N=1,005; CI: +/- 3.8

March 14-15, 2022; N=1,005; CI: +/- 3.8

April 11-12, 2022; N=1,005; CI: +/- 3.8

May 9-10, 2022; N=,1005; CI: +/- 3.8

June 29-30, 2022; N=1,003; CI: +/- 3.8

July 27-28, 2022; N=1,006; CI +/- 3.8

September 1-2, 2022; N=1,001; CI +/- 3.8

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Annaleise Lohr
Director, US
Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

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The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Jocelyn Duran Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Charlie Rollason Senior Research Analyst

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