Download as MP3

The National Institute for Civil Discourse recently conducted a poll of moderate Democrats, Republicans and independent voters about the level of civility in politics, and found that voters are not happy with the behavior of those who represent them.

The goal of the survey was to find out what Americans think of the level of discourse among politicians, says Carolyn Lukensmeyer, director of the institute. She says politics is more divisive now than she's ever seen it.

One question revealed that Americans don't think political discussions have to be hostile, she says.

"The second question we asked them is, are you ashamed of the way elected officials are acting dealing with these big issues -- debt and deficit and immigration," she says.

The results showed 81 percent "said they were ashamed," Lukensmeyer says.

But she says people's negative opinion of discourse isn't reflective of what they'd like to see in politics.

"Most Americans really want to solve the problems facing our country, and they are quite capable of comin together and listening to each other across their diverse views and making decisions together," she says.

While the institute wanted to gauge the opinion of the public, Lukenseyer says the organization also plans to encourage politicians to work together on policy, starting with members of the U.S. House and Senate who share committee assignments.