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Civil Society Institute

CSI’s approach to understanding public opinion is unique.

We look for common ground. We want to understand the ways differences can be bridged so that collectively we can create breakthroughs on solutions. Currently, much of public opinion research measures the depth of division and conflict, and it leads to identifying political wedge issues instead of seeking solutions.

CSI’s approach, however, seeks to advance solutions by demonstrating where political openings exist. We believe Progress is often hidden when gridlocked political parties and elected officials fail to see or refuse to see how to move beyond hyper-partisanship. In seeking common ground and taking a solutions-oriented approach to research, we intentionally avoid the usual binary approach of ‘for or against’. Instead we believe research that looks for common ground and for what works more powerfully reveals the way forward.

As you will hear today from our bipartisan team of researchers, Democratic pollster Molly O’Rourke from Hart Research and Republican pollster Vince Breglio from Breglio Associates, we have identified and followed the trend of a unique cohort of voters that we call Solutions Voters.

The usual categories of left/right and conservative/liberal do not capture this significant group of voters. Solution voters are diverse yet have common values and shared approaches to their views of solving America’s complex problems. They keep themselves informed and see openings for progress where the political extremes see division and thus remain isolated from the world of ideas that could lead to policy breakthroughs. You will hear more about Solutions Voters—and the opportunities which understanding them presents— in the research that follows.