The Polarization Index Tracks Discord in America

31 December 2022



Nothing in the updated Polarization Index, by PR firm Golin in collaboration with USC Annenberg and narrative intelligence company Zignal Labs, suggests that polarization will decrease in the near future. After analyzing millions of shares from 450 media outlets for 27 consecutive months, the study finds that polarization in America is persistent, but not necessarily consistent.

Both sides of the political spectrum, Left and Right, have employed polarization as a powerful tool to persuade voters, gain followers and raise funds, simultaneously alienating those on the other side. While the issues they leverage have not always been the same, both Left and Right have created a “bi-polar’’ echo chamber of public divisiveness that represents a challenge for anyone who wishes to engage in a dialogue about the issues that matter to them.

The original 2021 Polarization Index was the first data science-based measure of the overall degree of polarization in America. It used real-time natural language processing capabilities to mathematically calculate the overall national degree of discord. It tracked political bias and examined where Americans stand on these 10 key issues:

  • Immigration 
  • Policing Policy 
  • Racial Equity 
  • Gun Legislation 
  • Voting Integrity 
  • COVID-19 Vaccines 
  • Abortion 
  • Climate Change 
  • Healthcare Reform 
  • Minimum Wage 

See More

Opens in a new window