Analysis: A different way to look at Texans’ differences — by looking at similarities

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Austin crowds celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 20, 2020. Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

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Most Texans don’t think the political divisions in the state are as bad as they look; 81% told surveyors for a new Threads of Texas project that Texans’ common attitudes outnumber their differences.

The project, which launches Monday, edges into activism: More in Common, the outfit doing it, will turn to working with other organizations on civic and policy projects, using its assessments of public opinion. The nonprofit bills itself as a nonpartisan counter to divisive politics, out to “address the underlying drivers of fracturing and polarization.”

In 2017, More in Common started a series of national surveys along the same lines, called Hidden Tribes. That report started with this sentence: “America has never felt so divided.” Their analysis of the 2018 elections, based on that work, was that the outcomes had more to do with voter turnout that year than with changes in voting behavior.

This Texas project, researchers said, revealed a different theme as the state went through the 2020 election and into a once-every-two-years legislative session.