Do Americans have many friends across party lines?

Around two-thirds of Democrats and six-in-ten Republican respondents said that their friend groups are made of mostly fellow partisans. While about five percent of both Republicans and Democrats are the “odd ones out” in their group, the bulk have mostly politically homogenous friend groups. In fact, for around one-third of Democrats, they reported having no close friends of the other party. (And while the differences by age were not huge, those under age 30 were the most likely to report having zero close friends of a different political party.)

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This isn’t just confined to young people or the political left; looking at divides within parties, Republicans who consider themselves Trump supporters first-and-foremost are among the most likely to say they have zero close friends with whom they disagree, almost twice as likely as for Republicans who consider themselves party supporters more than Trump supporters…

Building bridges across party lines may be an important way to turn down the temperature and build greater empathy. But for voters young and old, there are reasons why the idea of going out of your way to befriend someone in the opposition just doesn’t seem particularly appealing these days.

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