Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the Coronavirus Pandemic
43 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 12, 2021
We document trends in affective polarization during the coronavirus pandemic. In our main measure, affective polarization is relatively flat between July 2019 and February 2020, then falls significantly around the onset of the pandemic. Three of five other data sources display a similar downward trend, with two of five data sources showing no significant change. A survey experiment shows that priming respondents to think about the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduces affective polarization.
Keywords: partisanship, political polarization, coronavirus, public opinion, group attitudes
JEL Classification: D72, P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation