The May 2021 American Perspectives Survey conducted by the Survey Center on American Life revealed Democrats are less likely to have friends across the political aisle than Republicans do. The survey found 53% of Republicans have “a lot” of or “some” friends who’re Democrats, compared to just 32% of Democrats who’d say they have “a lot” of or “some” friends who’re Republicans. Among Republicans, 11% reported having no Democratic friends. Among Democrats, 29% reported that none of their friends are Republicans.
Politics is not often a part of everyday conversation for most Americans. Only 21% say they discuss political issues at least a few times per week, with another 24% stating they talk politics a few times a month. 55% of Americans say they discuss politics even less frequently.
Among those who do discuss politics daily, many say politics does put a bipartisan friendship in jeopardy. Overall, 28% of political liberals reported having broken a friendship over politics, compared to 10% of political conservatives who report having done so. The trend is highest among women who identify as liberals, with 33% reporting breaking a friendship over politics.
One key factor in an ended friendship: President Trump, cited by 22% of those who had broken a friendship over politics as the driving factor. Democrats have spent over four years attacking Trump for dividing the country. But if these numbers have any truth to them then Democratic hatred for the former president could be just as damaging to our public discourse.