IDJC Launches New Poll With Ipsos That Tracks Attitudes Toward Civic Engagement, Democracy 

Syracuse University’s Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship (IDJC), in partnership with Ipsos, is launching a new poll that measures attitudes toward civic engagement, democracy and news and information.   

Each wave of findings from the Syracuse University-Ipsos American Identity poll is based on interviews with roughly 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Ipsos through its probability-based KnowledgePanel®. 

Initial findings released Thursday found that Republicans were more invested in watching the first presidential debate between President Biden and former President Trump than Democrats or independents.  

Based on a survey conducted May 17-19, 75% of Republicans said they were likely to watch the debate, compared with 61% of Democrats and 58% of independents.  

“This project will help IDJC researchers expand our understanding of media consumption and an increasingly polarized electorate in a rapidly changing news climate,” said Margaret Talev, Kramer Director of the IDJC and professor of practice of magazine, news and digital journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

The IDJC is a joint University initiative of Newhouse and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Based in Washington, D.C., the institute engages in nonpartisan research, teaching and public dialogue aimed at strengthening trust in news media, governance and society. 

“While many polls are focused on the horse race, this gives us the opportunity to understand how this election cycle is shaping Americans’ perspectives about patriotism, partisanship and the importance of democracy,” said Johanna Dunaway, IDJC research director and professor of political science at Maxwell. 

Said Joshua Darr, IDJC senior researcher: “Our hope is that we can learn more about the relationships between identity, trust in media and attitudes toward democracy that shape the stakes of the election—not merely try to predict the election.” Darr also is an associate professor of communications at Newhouse.  

The IDJC also offers foundational courses taught in the nation’s capital in civics, media literacy and ethics, and works with the Maxwell and Newhouse schools to facilitate internships, networking opportunities with alumni and other educational experiences for Syracuse University students.  

The polling partnership with Ipsos will provide another avenue to teach students about survey research and demographic trends in society, Talev said.  

“These are such important tools for aspiring journalists to have in their skillset,” she added. “It’s critical for reporters and writers to understand how voters feel and perceive developments on the trail to cover the campaign with proper context and authority.”  

Talev also is a senior contributor at Axios and wrote about the poll Thursday.