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'Divided America' series to explore tensions underlying campaign

The Associated Press will roll out a series of stories beginning June 9 that will explore the issues dividing American voters in this tumultuous presidential election year and what’s driving them toward the decision they will make on Nov. 8.

Plans call for roughly two dozen stories, making "Divided America" one of the longest AP series in memory.

It's more than just Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative, AP journalists have found. 

It's the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent and rural vs. urban. Climate doubters clash with believers. Bathrooms have become battlefields, borders are battle lines. Sex and race, faith and ethnicity, and the melting pot is boiling over. 

In the months ahead "Divided America" will unfold in text, video, graphics and visual and immersive interactive journalism. Some pieces will include data on communities across the U.S., offering AP's member news organizations and customers opportunities to produce their own local stories. 

AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said: "What do Americans want in a president? What is important to them? What unites them? Divides them? Those are just a few of the questions we seek to answer as voters decide who next will lead them."

She added: "Reporting in every corner of the country, we found people who are hopeful, angry, passionate, optimistic, fatalistic and, above all, riven by differences. And that is what we are going to explore over the coming months in coverage under the name of what we found: Divided America."

The first four stories, available for publication on June 9, will examine how Americans define greatness, why evangelical Christians feel they are under siege in the U.S., where the heated rhetoric over immigration has exposed deep division in a once-quiet corner of the West, as well as the disconnect between improving economic data and the struggles of ordinary people.

In subsequent installments AP will examine the influence of Hispanic and millennial voters, the urban/rural divide, the role of media in shaping a divided electorate and other questions.

 


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The Associated Press
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pcolford@ap.org

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