In many ways democratic government relies on the notion of open and honest discussion between opposing partisans. Becoming informed regarding candidates and politics generally necessitates obtaining information and opinions from a variety of sources. Increasingly, however, this political discourse is severely lacking. The rise of 24 hour news media and social media has made is easier than ever for individuals to comfortably rest in political “echo chambers”, not being exposed to differing and opposing viewpoints. This echo chamber also exists in social groups as individuals generally associate and engage in discussions with those of a like mind.
There is a question as to the viability of negating these echo chambers through political deliberation, but at least some believe deliberation has the ability to educate and alter opinions. But this capacity is almost moot considering the lack of individual will to alter their political behavior and be more open to other opinions.
This is highlighted in a recent Pew Center survey as well as recent research in political behavior and political communication. Links to the survey and some overviews of this research below.