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
Date Written: August 26, 2021
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: Suggested Citation