Great way to present content: One Nation Divisible via @business

Damn. What an ugly election.

That’s what everybody’s thinking. Intros to special issues like this one are supposed to be Solomonic tone poems. But that’s not possible in the middle of this spectacle, in which an unprecedentedly unpopular Democrat faces a Republican who in crazy ways is unlike any previous presidential candidate. For many Americans, the options are just plain awful.

Data. That’s where we turned to figure out how in the world we got here. Then our reporters and photographers ­traveled from Tukwila, Wash., to Albertville, Ala., talking to voters. The picture we pieced together shows just how divided we’ve become—and helps explain why.