Americans are less likely to have friends of very different political opinions compared to 2016

Linley SandersData Journalist
October 06, 2020, 7:00 PM UTC

The last four years appear to have taken a toll on Democrats’ bipartisan friendships.  

Nearly a quarter of Democrats (24%) say they are not friends with anyone who holds very different political views from them, a 14-point rise from when YouGov asked the same question in September 2016. 

Independents show an 8-point increase (12% to 20%) in not being friends with those who have opposing political views, while Republicans have not changed significantly (10% to 12%) in the last four years. None of the political parties have grown more likely to share camaraderie with those who do not hold similar opinions. 

In the same 2016 series of questions, one-third of Americans (32%) said that most people in their community shared their political opinion. A similar number said the same four years later (37%). About half of Americans (49%) in 2016 say they would be unhappy living somewhere where most people hold very different political opinions from them, compared to 45% in 2016. 

Related: Republicans are more willing than Democrats to date across party lines 

Methodology: The September 2020 poll in this article is based on a flash poll of 2,485 US Adults surveyed via YouGov Direct on September 26, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. and September 27, 2020 5:45 p.m. This YouGov Direct Poll was weighted according to age, gender, race, education, and 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error for the September 2020 poll is ±3.0%  

The September 2016 poll in this article is based on a YouGov Profiles poll of 482 US Adults, including 155 Democrats, 135 Republicans, and 158 Independents. The poll was weighted according to age, gender, race, and education. In both polls, US Adults were asked, “Are you friends with anyone who has very different political opinions from you?” 

Image: Getty