A poll of college students revealed Democrats are the most hostile to socially interacting with Republicans.
The Generation Lab/Axios poll asked 850 college students what type of social interaction they would be willing to have with someone who voted for an opposing presidential candidate.
Overall, about a quarter of the respondents said they could not be friends with someone who did not vote as they did.
This opinion was not evenly divided by party affiliation. Just 5% of Republicans shared this sentiment whereas 37% of Democrat respondents said they would not be friends with someone who voted for the opposing candidate.
Similarly, 30% of Democrats said they would not work for a Republican voter, but just 7% of Republicans shared this view.
Political support also factors into a young Democrat’s retail shopping decisions: 41% would not shop at or support a business owned by someone who did not vote as they do.
Again, only a small number of Republicans — 7% — shared this sentiment.
Republicans are also more ambivalent about political affiliations and less likely to manage their romantic relationships around them. About 31% said they would not go on a date with someone who supports an opposing political party.
According to the poll’s findings, homogenous political support is critically important to Democrats when dating. More than twice as many Democrats — a total of 71% — would refuse to go on a date with someone who voted for a Republican presidential candidate.
Gender also indicated the likeliness of factoring political stances into behaviors. Across all hypothetical social dynamics, the poll found women are more likely to avoid those of opposing political affiliations.
While 84% of men would shop at a business of someone within the opposing party, the same is true for only 68% of women.
Women (24%) more than men (14%) would not work for an employer who voted for an opposing candidate.
Most notably, 59% of women would refuse a date with someone outside of their party. Just 33% of men said they would do the same.
The importance of a potential date’s political affiliation has repeatedly been found to matter more to Democrats than Republicans.
In April 2020, the Pew Research Center found Democrats looking for a relationship were much more likely to weigh how someone voted during the 2016 presidential election.
About 71% of “single-and-looking” Democrats reported they would not consider getting into a relationship with someone who voted for Donald Trump. Moreover, 45% said they would “definitely” not consider dating a Trump supporter.
In comparison, 47% of Republicans looking for a relationship ruled out the possibility of dating a Democrat.
After the 2016 election, the dating website OkCupid reported a 64% increase in the use of political terms in its users’ profiles.
The American Enterprise Institute reported that, at the time, 26% of voters who identified as liberal said it would be impossible to date someone who disagreed with them — twice as many as the 13% of conservative voters who felt the same way.
The resistance to mixed-party relationships could have long-term implications for national attitudes.
“Partisan divides — as each side inhabits parallel political, cultural and media universes —make a future of discord and distrust in the U.S. all the more likely,” noted Axios in its report.