Well, maybe love can’t actually conquer all. According to a recent Pew Research study of more than 4,800 people, seven-in-ten “Democratic daters” say the probably or definitely wouldn’t consider dating someone who voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election cycle. And the feeling is mutual. Among single-and-looking Trump voters, almost half say they probably or definitely wouldn’t date someone who voted for Hilary Clinton.
Now, when accounting for political party only—not 2016 voting habits—things get a little more ambiguous. About 43 percent of Democratic singles say they likely or definitely wouldn’t date a self-described Republican, while about one-in-four Republicans say they likely or definitely wouldn’t date a self-described Democrat.
It’s worth noting that this study took place in October 2019, which is before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted U.S. politics in a big way. Still, Pew says this apparent “aversion to dating people of different political orientations” reflects our larger society—and the general dislike people have for those across the aisle.
The Pew study reads, “Other recent Pew Research Center surveys have found that sizable shares of partisans are likely to associate negative traits such as ‘closed-minded; and ‘immoral’ with members of the opposite political party, and many find it stressful and frustrating to talk about politics with people who don’t share their political views.”
Interestingly and perhaps predictably, nonwhite Democratic daters were more likely to dismiss Trump voters than white Democrats. While 78 percent of nonwhite Democratic voters expressed that they wouldn’t date a Trump voter, only 63 percent of white voters felt the same.
When looking at these numbers, it’s worth considering the fact that Democratic daters far outnumber Republican daters, with 62 percent of single-and-looking daters leaning Democratic and only 36 percent leaning Republican. This likely reflects a shift toward more progressive politics for a younger generation.
But this isn’t the only struggle daters have in the current political climate. According to another recent Pew study, nearly half of U.S. adults—and a majority of women—feel dating has become more difficult in the last decade. And Pew suggests that may have something to do with the tumultuous social and political climate in the U.S., including the impact of the #MeToo movement.
This study found 65 percent of single-and-looking women say they have experienced harassing behaviors from someone they were dating or had been on a date with, “such as being touched in a way that made them uncomfortable or rumors being spread about their sexual history.” Though this type of harassment is often thought to be directed solely toward women, half of all men who are single and looking report past experience with harassing behavior.
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