On the heels of an election that shifted political party control of Congress, some observers insist that the nation remains a house divided into “red” states and “blue” states. Yet, the current research leaves many open questions about the causes, consequences, and depth of the country’s political divisions.
On December 8, the Brookings Institution hosted the final session in a series of panel discussions on America’s polarized politics, inspired by the newly released Red and Blue Nation? Characteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics (Brookings, 2006). The book, the first of two volumes co-sponsored by Brookings and the Hoover Institution, considers polarized views among political leaders and activists and examines how such views are reflected in the population at large. U.S. Representative Tom Davis of Virginia delivered the keynote address. Pietro S. Nivola, Brookings vice president and director of Governance Studies, moderated a panel of the volume’s main contributors.