In the wake of the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as the 2020 election was being certified, and amid rapid demographic changes and persistent economic uncertainties, America seems more divided than ever—not just on specific issues but on fundamental democratic principles and even about American identity itself. Now, a new and extensive national survey of more than 2,500 Americans reveals a great deal about Americans’ attitudes about racial and religious pluralism, immigration, political parties, trust in institutions, the stories we tell about ourselves, and the history we teach our children.
On November 1, Governance Studies at Brookings and PRRI hosted the release of PRRI’s 12th annual American Values Survey (AVS). A panel of experts discussed the survey results and what they reveal about Americans’ attitudes toward a variety of issues that are dividing the nation and that will impact the 2022 midterm elections. The survey also highlights the impact of media consumption on attitudes, long-term trends in partisan and religious affiliation, and how these changes have produced starkly contrasting visions for what it means to be an American.