Politics

Most Republicans and Democrats have few or no friends in the opposing party

Survey shows little bipartisanship

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Here's a key stat that shows just how much of an echo chamber many Americans are living in.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center released on Thursday shows a majority of both Republicans and Democrats say they have "just a few" or no friends in the opposing party.

Almost 2 in 3 Democrats (64%) and more than half of Republicans (55%) say they have "just a few" or "none" close friends who are Republicans or Democrats, respectively.

"Republicans and Democrats both say their friend networks are predominantly made up of people who are like-minded politically," the report says.

Only 14% of Republicans say they have "a lot" of friends who are Democrats, and only 9% of Democrats say they have "a lot" of friends who are Republicans.

Similarly, a majority of people in both parties -- 57% of Republicans and even more, 67% of Democrats -- say they have "a lot" of friends in their own party.

It's also worth noting that Republicans and Democrats have just as few friends who are independents as friends in the opposing party.

More evidence of an echo chamber

Partisans are also more likely to say the news they get from family and friends online represents just one side. Roughly 2 in 5 conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats say they only get one-sided digital news, according to a separate Pew Research study from last January.

And while the two parties have never liked each other, the new data shows now they don't like each other even more.

The number of Democrats and Republicans who saw the opposing party as "very unfavorable" has more than doubled from 16% and 17%, respectively, in 1994, to a broader 44% and 45% today, the survey found.

Now a broad 4 in 5 in both parties see the opposing party unfavorably, highlighting even greater animosity between America's two major political parties.

The Pew Research Center's report is based on three telephone surveys conducted June 9-19, June 27-July 9 and August 15-21. Most results among the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points, with error margins of 2.5 points among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and 2.3 points for Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Sampling error may vary depending on which surveys included the question being discussed.


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