Dating a Democrat: How 2020’s presidential election has altered romance in D.C.

Serena says she’d pause before going on dates with people who support other primary candidates like Gabbard and Buttigieg. “I’m more wary of them,” she says. “It’s not a total deal-breaker, but it’s a point against them.”

Katherine, a student at The George Washington University, calls politics in D.C. a “mixture of fun and exasperation”— people are so open to talk politics, but it can become intense quickly. She also requested being referred to by her first name only since she views dating as a private matter.

She supports Buttigieg (“he can appeal to more than just Democrats”) and says that, while she’s willing to go on dates with people supporting other candidates, impressions matter. She recalls a particularly cringeworthy date with a Kamala Harris staffer (“he was actually an intern”) who talked nonstop about his job and was miffed she wasn’t supporting his boss.

“He didn’t necessarily turn me completely off to Kamala, but I can’t stop associating her with that date,” Katherine says.