The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think

At the center of national sentiment there’s no longer a chasm but a common ground where a diverse and growing majority – 51% – is bound by a surprising set of shared ideas.

“Just because Washington is polarized doesn’t mean America is,” says Robert Blizzard, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, the lead pollster for Mitt Romney in 2012. His firm co-created the survey with the Benenson Strategy Group, pollsters for President Obama, and the result is a nation in eight distinct segments: two on the far right, two on the far left, and four in the middle that represent nothing less than a new American center.

The people of the center are patriotic and proud, with a strong majority (66 percent) saying that America is still the greatest country in the world, and most (54 percent) calling it a model that other countries should emulate. But the center is also very nervous about the future, overwhelmingly saying that America can no longer afford to spend money on foreign aid (81 percent) when we need to build up our own country.