At a time of potential danger to American democratic norms and institutions, it is more urgent than ever for scholars to highlight the risks to our system of government. In this spirit, Bright Line Watch brings together a group of political scientists to monitor democratic practices, their resilience, and potential threats.
As the country turns 245 years old, Americans have reasons to worry about the state of their democracy. In June 2021, we surveyed a representative sample of Americans and an expert sample of political scientists on the performance of U.S. democracy, the threats it faces, and how their political representatives should address these matters.1 We find deep partisan polarization in perceptions of what is right and wrong with American democracy and the steps that should be taken to fix it. In addition, experts express reservations about current changes to election law at the state level. Still, we find some signs that Americans regard partisan attacks on election administration with skepticism.
Bright Line Watch in the media
Politics Podcast: Americans And Experts Agree That Democracy Is Struggling
by FiveThirtyEight, 7/15/21
Opinion: This historian predicted Jan. 6. Now he warns of greater violence.
by Dana Milbank at The Washington Post, 7/15/21
by FiveThirtyEight, 4/29/21
Why Political Sectarianism Is a Growing Threat to American Democracy
by The New York Times, 4/19/21
Democracy reform should guide voting proposals
by Pensacola News Journal 3/13/2021
Democrats Are More United Today Than The Last Time They Passed Major Legislation
by FiveThirtyEight, 2/22/21
Opinion: Why Democrats aren’t fraidy cats anymore
by E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post, 2/17/21
How Long Can Democracy Survive QAnon and Its Allies?
by The New York Times, 2/10/21