Political scientist: America isn’t as politically divided as you think

Dr. Michael Wagner, a political scientist from the University of Wisconsin, spoke at LSU Tuesday about the partisan divide.(Photo: Stephanie Malin)

Jacqueline DeRobertis

Political scientist Michael Wagner believes that America is not as politically divided as it seems.

“Political division is normal,” he said Tuesday in a talk at LSU. “It’s not problematic that we disagree, but if we stop listening to each other, we are in real trouble.”

He explained that to most people, polarization means red versus blue or right versus left – but that the data tells a different story. While elected officials tend to be hyperpolarized, the public’s beliefs span a range of political ideologies, from populist to libertarian, with some moderates drawn from each camp.

Wagner, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who is working on a book about the partisan divide, gave a presentation at the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.

Read the story in KALB.

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