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The Hidden Common Ground Initiative

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) challenges the increasingly dominant narrative of a hopelessly-divided America by identifying and elevating the areas where Americans agree on solutions to politically-polarized issues, and by fostering productive dialogue on those areas where we truly disagree.

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.

NEW HCG 2020 REPORT

Released December 2020

Divisiveness and Collaboration in American Public Life: A Hidden Common Ground Report
  • Nearly 75 percent of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, think there is more common ground among the public than the media and politicians portray

Read the report.

The Public Agenda/USA Today Hidden Common Ground 2020 Project
with The National Issues Forum 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. It is supported by a diverse group of foundations, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundationthe Charles Koch Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as well as through a research partnership with the Kettering Foundation and by individual donors.

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:
LOOK FOR ROBUST COVERAGE OF HIDDEN COMMON GROUNDTM IN USA TODAY.