More and more we hear about how Americans have become so divided that we cannot possibly understand one another, let alone find common ground or work together toward common ends. Based on our 40 years of public opinion research and hands-on community engagement experience, we beg to differ.
The Hidden Common Ground Initiative™ (HCG) and the Strange Bedfellows stories challenge the increasingly dominant narrative of a hopelessly-divided America by identifying and elevating the areas and narratives where Americans agree on solutions to politically-polarized issues, and by fostering productive dialogue on those areas where we truly disagree.
The Strange Bedfellows stories appeared on October 20, 2020 in USA Today national and local affiliate papers as a collection of narratives about Americans coming together across political, racial, religious, and numerous other perceived dividing lines to solve problems in their communities.
Hidden Common Ground: We found that Americans are more united than it appears (USA TODAY, October 20, 2020)
COVID-19 has narrowed the divide between GOP, Democratic voters on ways to support workers from pay to child care (USA TODAY, September 24, 2020)
David Bange: Turn climate anxiety into climate action (La Crosse Tribune, September 20, 2020)
Americans Share Common Ground, Misperceptions About Immigration, Poll Finds (KUNR Public Radio, August 14, 2020)
Poll shows growing disconnect over Trump's hard-line immigration policies (USA TODAY, August 12, 2020)
A 'huge moment' for police reform that could reshape Black communities for generations (USA TODAY, July 18, 2020)
USA TODAY poll: Americans want major police reform, more focus on serious crime (USA TODAY, June 29, 2020)
Broad Support for Most Police Reforms in New Survey (The Crime Report, June 29, 2020)
Health outweighs economy in poll (USA TODAY, May 29, 2020)
Most believe stopping virus is larger priority than saving economy: poll (The Hill, April 3, 2020)
Survey: Americans Agree Health Care System Needs Fixing (Side Effects, Thursday, February 6, 2020)
Learn more about how The National Issues Forums facilitates the deliberation and exchange of ideas about Hidden Common Ground™ issues.
The Public Agenda/USA TODAY Hidden Common Ground 2020 Project
with The National Issues Forums, the America Amplified: Election 2020 public media initiative, Ipsos, and Vote.Org
HCG 2020 is the latest, and most exciting iteration of our HCG initiative. Throughout the presidential election season it will involve public opinion research on major issues, innovative journalism and commentary, broad-based public engagement, “Strange Bedfellows” storytelling, and community-based dialogues and events.
Hidden Common Ground is supported by a diverse group of foundations, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as well as through the generosity of individual donors. In addition, the Kettering Foundation is a research partner of the initiative.
HCG focuses on little known or otherwise underappreciated areas of agreement among the public on solutions to tough issues, like health care, immigration and economic development. The research also gets to the roots of whether people feel held back from working with each other in general.
“Divisiveness and Collaboration in America” is the first research publication of our Hidden Common Ground 2020 partnership. Additional research, to be released throughout 2020, will cover health care, immigration, and economic opportunity.
You can sign up for regular updates here, and participate on social media by using the hashtags #HiddenCommonGround and #publicagenda.
Learn about HCG 2020 funders.
Read the press release.
MORE HIDDEN COMMON GROUND REPORTS:
HCG was launched by Public Agenda in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation in 2018, resulting in our first two HCG reports: Where Americans See Eye to Eye on Incarceration and Where Americans See Eye to Eye on Health care.