Finding Common Ground in a Divided Political Culture
PolicyInteractive Research, November 2018
In December of 2017, we conducted polls that capture the subtleties of public opinion in Oregon. Through this project, we made the discovery that Oregon is not as polarized as the recent Nov. 6 election results would suggest. Despite the stark red-and-blue divisions exposed by many of the choices on the ballot, most Oregonians share common ground on important issues — notably climate change and health care.
Building on polling conducted on a national scale by the Pew Research Group, this project involved sorting Oregonians into eight political archetypes or typologies, ranging from “Solid Liberals” on the far left to “Core Conservatives” on the far right.
We found that in Oregon, only 30 percent hold opinions that place them in those solid blue liberal or bright red conservative outer bands of the political spectrum. The remaining 70 percent comprise six other voter archetypes in which liberal and conservative ideas are mixed in surprising ways.
The overall picture is one of great complexity — Oregonians see the world in full color, not just red and blue. Deep disagreements do exist, but not nearly so much as agreement. Of 25 defining topics often parlayed as divisive, only five can be observed as truly contested. The larger picture displays opportunities for cooperation and progress on challenging topics most Oregonians want solutions on.
Reports and Supplements:
- Report Summary and Methodology
- Public Opinion on Climate Policy: Bar Charts
- Public Opinion on Health Care Policy: Bar Charts
- Typology Survey unabridged results questions, results & benchmarks
- Climate Policy: Detailed Report