Polarization has only increased in the last decade, but one political organization is trying to change that.
Upstate New York businessman Martin Babinec has tried to take some of the heat out of the political arena in recent years. He's founded the group Unite NY, meant to support independent candidates who offer compromise and consensus.
"There is a growing disinterest if not distrust of hyperpartisanship," Babinec said.
And now Babinec is calling for a change in how the two political parties select their nominees. Rather than letting registered Democrats or registered Republicans vote in closed primaries, Babinec wants to open that selection process to all voters in New York. He hopes the change would lead to more moderate nominees.
"An open primary process would in fact bring the opportunity to appeal to a broader segment of the electorate than are even turning out in the primaries," he said.
Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in New York. But the fastest growing voter identification in New York is actually none of the above. More and more, voters are choosing to not register in a party.
"Here you have this huge chunk of the electorate that can't even participate in the primary process," Babinec said.
Babinec hopes open primaries would also address another big problem in politics: Voter apathy with the current process.
"It's necessary for there to be political reform to change the system so we can get more people engaged in the process," he said.
And it wouldn't take a constitutional amendment to make the change. Babinec says the individual parties themselves can choose to open their own primaries up to all voters.