Michael Rocca highlights one of the defining characteristics of today’s American politics: polarization. While experts agree that polarization exists at the elite level (e.g. the U.S. Congress and media), there is considerably less agreement over the level of polarization among the American public. Rocca answers the questions: just how polarized are the American public and our elected officials; what has caused these varying levels of polarization; how much does polarization matter to our political outcomes; and what can we do to counter this phenomenon?

Michael Rocca is an associate professor of political science at UNM. He received his PhD in political science from UC Davis and has published academic papers on the US Congress. He also teaches courses on the American presidency and American government and often provides political analysis to local and national media.