With Thanksgiving dinner coming soon—and the possibility of sitting down with someone you don’t see eye-to-eye with—a new statewide poll finds folks in rural Nebraska convinced that courteous and polite political discussions are badly lacking.

NCN’s Joe Jordan has been going through the numbers of the latest 2023 Nebraska Rural Poll which also finds people upbeat about their small towns but aware of the possible pitfalls.

[View our full video report above]

I’m Joe Jordan with the latest numbers, and they’re not good, about how Nebraska farmers and folks in small towns like those here in Springfield, population 1,500 just southwest of Omaha, about how those folks feel about the current state of political discourse in Nebraska. Political discourse being the ability to talk politics and agree to disagree peacefully.

Well, the numbers are in and they're not so good.

Yes, when it comes to civil discourse, the 2023 Nebraska Rural Poll finds 65 percent convinced that the civility problem is somewhat or very serious. Five percent say it’s not a serious problem.

Keith Hentzen, Springfield: “There are certain people I don’t have conversations with.”

For the last 46 years, Keith Hentzen, the owner of the somewhat iconic Springfield Drug Store has watched conversations go from good to bad to worse.

Keith Hentzen, Springfield: “I think there’s been a promotion of distrust, there’s been a promotion of anger, which leads to hate.”

And not surprisingly social media gets a good chunk of the blame, of the 11-hundred households responding 71 percent said social media contributes to political division in their own backyard, that with the Thanksgiving dinner right around the corner.

The final numbers we’ve got on this relate to the ability of politicians to work together to get something done. 

66 percent think local politicians are working well together. When it comes to the nation’s political leaders, that number drops to nine percent.

In Springfield, Joe Jordan News Channel Nebraska.