Pew: Liberals ‘Far More’ Intolerant of Opposite-Party Friends Than Conservatives, Moderates

By Craig Bannister | July 24, 2017 | 2:34pm EDT
Frendlier times.

A new Pew Research poll shows that nearly half (47%) of liberals say a friend’s support of President Donald Trump would put a “strain” on their friendship, matching the percentage who say they have no close friends who are Trump supporters.

In the new survey, Pew finds that Republicans and Republican sympathizers are far more tolerant of opposite-party friends than are liberal Democrats:

“Liberal Democrats are about evenly divided between saying say their friendship would be strained (47%) if a friend said they voted for Trump and saying it would not have any effect (51%).”

“Far more conservative and moderate Democrats say a friend voting for Trump would not have any effect (73%) than say it would put a strain on the friendship (25%).”

“About a third (35%) of Democrats and Democratic leaners say that, if a friend had voted for Trump, it would “put a strain on [the] friendship;” a smaller share of Republicans and Republican leaners (13%) say the same about learning a friend had voted for Clinton.”

Democrat intolerance increases with education, Pew finds:

“There is a 17-percentage-point gap between the share of Democrats with a college degree or more education (44%) and the share with no more than a high school education (27%) saying a friend voting for Trump would put a strain on the friendship.”

What’s more, liberal Democrats actually appear to shun Trump supporters. A Pew survey conducted last July during the presidential campaign shows that nearly half of Clinton supporters had zero close friends who supported Trump:

“Nearly half of Clinton supporters (47%), and 31% of Trump supporters, say they have no close friends who support the opposing candidate.”

At the time, then-candidate Clinton publicly branded Trump supporters as “racist, sexist’ “deplorables”:

“You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.”

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