The goal of America in One Room is simple: to enrich the nation’s political conversation.
With the 2020 Presidential election around the corner and political discourse rife with partisanship, polarization, and misinformation, A1R offers a solution: a nationwide Deliberative Poll. A1R will bring together five hundred citizen-delegates—real people with real opinions on real issues—for a weekend designed specifically to cultivate the kind of informed, substantive discussions that have been missing from the recent political climate.
A1R is designed to be unbiased. Participants will learn about the most pressing issues facing our country uninfluenced by political rhetoric. They will deliberate with one another in group discussions unstructured by partisan agenda. They will engage directly with leading presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle in long-form question-and-answer sessions, promoting deep, thoughtful dialogue instead of rote stump speeches and trivial sound bites. And, perhaps most importantly, they will have the opportunity to learn from and teach, to hear and be heard by both the candidates and each other.
Together, the citizen-delegates are a representative microcosm of all the ideological and demographical nuances that comprise our national identity. They can speak for the people because they are the people. A1R is not only a well-tested and proven experiment in democracy, it also shows what the American political conversation can look like—what conclusions can and should be drawn—when our democracy is rooted in civility, diversity, knowledge, and respect.
What is Deliberative Polling®?
Deliberative Polling® uses public opinion research in a new and constructive way. A random, representative sample is first polled on the targeted issues.
How it Works
Shortly after the baseline poll, the members of the sample are brought together in a single location in order to discuss the issues on the poll. In order to inform the participants and foster discussion, carefully balanced briefing materials on the targeted issues are sent to them ahead of time. (Briefing materials are also made publicly available.)
The Importance of Dialogue
At the event, the participants break into small groups, each led by a trained moderator, in which they deliberate on the issues and formulate questions for attending policy experts and political leaders. They engage with the experts and leaders directly in a town hall setting.