ABOUT THE COMMON GROUND SCORECARD
Welcome! We’re glad you are here and interested in learning more about the political landscape. Please take a moment to read the following.
LEARN WHO SEEKS COMMON GROUND BEFORE YOU CAST YOUR BALLOT.
If you’ve been frustrated by partisan politics and divisive rhetoric, and have wanted to vote for candidates who have shown they will reach across the aisle — you are in the right place.
The Common Ground Scorecard (CGS) is the interactive tool to help you be informed. It will help you learn which officials seek common ground — and which do not. Meaning, who approaches the process with a spirit of collaboration, and who digs in their heels for all or nothing? And who’s a maverick willing to cross party lines even when their voters lean strongly in one direction?
Below is an overview to help you get started. We also provide a tutorial video above and much more detail in our FAQs.
The CGS is an initiative of Common Ground Committee, a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on bringing healing to the challenges of incivility and polarization facing our nation. Common Ground Committee works for “more progress, less division.’” With this goal in mind, the Common Ground Committee developed the CGS for voters to identify politicians who seek common ground (or not), and to celebrate officials who exhibit these attributes.
Elected officials such as the president, vice president, governors, senators, and congressmen are scored. We also plan to score candidates for these offices in the future. Officials and candidates can score a maximum of 110 points. The lowest possible score is minus 20, earned by insulting political opponents. Points may be earned across the following categories:
- Official Performance (30 points) — bipartisan bill sponsorship for legislators or bipartisan job approval for executives
- Personal Actions (30 points) — public conversation across political differences and joining an official from the opposing party for a visit of their district
- Communication (20 points) — promoting Common Grounder practices
- Commitments (20 points) — affirmation of Common Grounder commitments
- Outstanding Common Grounder (+10 points) — awarded for common ground behavior or boldly champions common ground
The CGS measures the extent to which an elected official or candidate displays the qualities of a Common Grounder. It does not assess issue positions, ideology, or any other qualifications.
WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST?
As a first step, you may want to look up a politician you already have in mind. You can do this by entering the name into the search bar below or on the home page. To look up your own elected officials or candidates, you can also use the map on the home page. The CGS allows you to compare up to six politicians at a time; after you choose the first one, you will see instructions to add others.
CHECK OUT THE MAVERICK MATRIX
When you start using the tool you’ll notice a grid called the Maverick Matrix. We created this matrix to illustrate the degree to which an official seeks common ground relative to the partisan intensity of their constituents.
Higher placement on the Maverick Matrix reflects a higher Common Ground Score. Placement farther to the right reflects a greater partisan skew among the official’s constituency, how far toward one party over the other the area votes relative to the country as a whole.
It’s natural for an official’s degree of common ground spirit and practice to be aligned with the constituency they represent. However, an official representing an area with a strong partisan lean may nonetheless serve as more of a Common Grounder. This “Maverick” is most commendable in our view.
A FINAL WORD
Our goal in creating the Common Ground Scorecard is to encourage and celebrate common ground behavior among our elected leaders – and equip you with the information you need to make informed choices at the polls.