Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.
Nearly half of American liberals say they can’t even stand the idea of being near Donald Trump supporters, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Of the 2,505 adults surveyed between June 27 and July 9, 2017, 47 percent of liberals said that if a friend said s/he supported Trump, it would “put a strain on the friendship.” Among the broader group of Democrats who lean left but may not necessarily be liberal, 35 percent would agree. Only 1 percent of all Democrats said a friend voting for Trump made them stronger.
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake calls the survey “the latest indicator of our remarkably tribal and partisan politics.”
“And when it comes to Trump, it’s difficult to overstate just how tribal the left is and how much distaste he engenders,” Blake writes.
Among the liberal Democrats who said they had a tough time remaining friends with people who voted for Trump, white liberals had the toughest time (polling at 47 percent), followed by black liberals (28 percent) and Hispanic liberals (25 percent).
Anyone still think trump and supporters are not racist? They want whites only with guns and illiteracy run rampant. DEPLORABLES
— Stephen C (@BirdFeeder50) July 20, 2017
Trump supporters trying to explain how they aren’t racist is so entertaining.
— Emily (@EloquentlyEmily) July 20, 2017
Goddamn do I fucking hate Trump and his stupid sexist racist traitorous supporters.
— kathy fights back (@Cool4kat) July 7, 2017
Conservatives and Republicans, on the other hand, displayed dramatically higher tolerance levels of their friends who voted the other way. Seventy-three percent of conservatives and moderates said a friend voting for Trump did “not have any effect” on their relationship.
From Republicans who were asked whether a friend voting for Hillary Clinton would strain their relationship, only 13 percent answered in the affirmative.
“Democrats feel more negatively about talking politics with people who have a different opinion of the president than do Republicans,” the Pew report states. “A large majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents — nearly seven-in-ten (68%) — say they find it to be stressful and frustrating to talk to people with different opinions of Trump. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, fewer (52%) say they find this to be stressful and frustrating.”
Democrats are overall more politically motivated in their personal lives as well, the report states, as they are about three times likely as Republicans to have attended a political rally, event, or protest.
And between friends who found out about seven months after the election that one of them had voted differently, Clinton supporters were more likely (19 percent) to say it negatively impacted their relationship than Trump supporters (7 percent.)
“Part of the reason for the imbalance is likely that liberals tend to live in more homogeneous places and don’t even associate with conservatives,” Blake explains, citing another Pew study from last year that showed 47 percent of prospective Clinton voters didn’t even have any close friends who were Trump supporters.
“Because of the way our population is sorted, with liberals clustered in urban areas and Republicans more spread out, Democrats tend to be more insulated from dissenting political voices,” he continues. “So perhaps it’s no surprise that they don’t hear and don’t want to hear those voices coming from their friends’ mouths.”
Blake comments that for many liberal Democrats, the prospect of someone voting for Trump reflected badly on them personally. A prime example of this during the 2016 presidential campaign was when Clinton herself suggested half of Trump supporters were “deplorables” who were “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” “xenophobic,” or “Islamophobic.”
Clinton later said she regretted these comments, but they appear to reflect wider sentiments among the political party supporting her.