What Civic Engagement Looks Like

Via Chris Bowers, Gallup has numbers showing that Americans are paying closer attention to the news lately:


It’s probably worth emphasizing that a lot of the things that bien pensant types deplore—like this past summer of crazy rallies and political polarization more generally—are inextricably tied up with things that bien pensant types claim to want, namely an increased level of civic engagement. The politics of the late-19th century was incredibly vicious, polarized, and un-edifying. It was also an era of high turnout and booming newspapers.

Also interesting to note that Republicans, being older, wealthier, and maler also follow the news more closely:

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I’m inclined to think that if the production of political news and commentary weren’t so dominated by the white dude demographic, that political news might get a larger audience among progressives. That, in turn, could help close some of the “enthusiasm gap” issues that frequently plague progressive activists.