OPB Politics Now is a weekly podcast that takes a deep dive into the hottest political topics in Oregon and the Northwest. Every Friday, OPB’s political reporters and special guests offer in-depth analysis, discussion and insight into candidates, events and issues.
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In 2017, University of Nebraska Lincoln Political Science Professor Kevin Smith co-authored a study that asked a random sample of 800 people whether politics was a significant stressor in their lives. Categories covered physical health, mental health, regretted behavior, and social and lifestyle costs. For about 40% of respondents, the answer was yes. Last year, Smith issued the survey again to a different group of people, two weeks before and two weeks after the 2020 election, to see how things have changed. And he found, for the most part, people are as stressed out as ever about politics. Professor Smith joins me now to talk more about the study.