Flyover 2020: Polarization anxiety

Flyover thumbnail
Flyover thumbnail
MPR News

When it comes to flipped counties, the Upper Midwest is ground zero. More than 50 counties in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois that voted for Barack Obama in 2012 voted for Donald Trump in 2016. And many of them flipped big — in some cases, by more than 30 points.

So this year, we are reviving Flyover to examine how our life experiences, beliefs about issues and compatibility with candidates shape the perception of Upper Midwestern voters as we move toward the 2020 election.

Our first topic: polarization anxiety. It’s a term created by anthropologist Jose Santos to describe what he sees in the classroom: students unable to discuss topics because of the polarized climate we live in. That inhibits conversation and learning.


  • Jose Santos, anthropologist and professor at Metro State University

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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