Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming

58 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021 Last revised: 24 Sep 2021

See all articles by Levi Boxell

Levi Boxell

Stanford University

Jacob Conway

Stanford University

James N. Druckman

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science

Matthew Gentzkow

Stanford University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 26, 2021

Abstract

We document trends in affective polarization during the COVID-19 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 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduces affective polarization.

Keywords: partisanship, political polarization, coronavirus, public opinion, group attitudes

JEL Classification: D72, P16

Suggested Citation

Boxell, Levi and Conway, Jacob and Druckman, James N. and Gentzkow, Matthew, Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the COVID-19 Pandemic (August 26, 2021). Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3785328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3785328

Levi Boxell

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA
United States

Jacob Conway (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

James N. Druckman

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place (Scott Hall)
Evanston, IL 60201
United States
847-491-7450 (Phone)

Matthew Gentzkow

Stanford University ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
59
Abstract Views
456
rank
412,720
PlumX Metrics