Allegheny College Survey of Civility and Compromise in American Politics

Even casual observers have detected rising levels of acrimony in contemporary American politics. Political rhetoric on television and radio programs seems especially shrill, and the tumult surrounding the health care reform bill has taken aback even the most seasoned observers.

  • But what about average citizens?
  • Do they notice a decline in civility and, if so, are they worried?
  • Should politicians even try to be polite and respectful?
  • If there is a problem, who and what is to blame?
  • Can anything be done about it?
  • Do average citizens support compromise?
  • Are they willing to make sacrifices for the long-term good of the nation?

This study, one of the first of its kind, was intended to move beyond anecdotal evidence and punditry to get at the heart of public perceptions regarding the tone of contemporary politics. Our survey of 1,000 randomly selected Americans was designed to gauge attitudes and perceptions of civility in politics.

Our findings suggest nearly universal recognition of the problem and a growing concern about the implications of an uncivil body politic. Click here to read complete civility survey report.