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40% Say Election Has Hurt a Close Relationship

Thursday, February 02, 2017

A lot of Americans have hard feelings after last November's presidential election.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 40% of Likely U.S. Voters think the election has negatively affected their personal relationship with a friend or family member. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

That's a jump from the 26% who said just days before the election that the presidential race itself had already hurt their relationship with a friend or family member. 

Contrary to the media and most pollsters who felt Democrat Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for the presidency, Republican Donald Trump was the surprise winner. Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters who Strongly Disapprove of the job President Trump is doing say the election has hurt a personal relationship. Just 35% of those who Strongly Approve of Trump's job performance agree.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of all voters now think Americans today are less tolerant of each other’s political opinions than they were in the past. That’s up from 70% in November. Voters were last this pessimistic just weeks before the 2012 presidential election. Only 11% think Americans are more tolerant of each other’s views than in the past, while 10% think the level of tolerance is about the same. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 31-February 1, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology

Fifty percent (50%) of voters believe America is a more divided nation after the eight years of the Obama presidency. Just prior to the presidential election, only 13% said the United States will be a more unified nation in a year’s time regardless of who wins. Fifty-two percent (52%) expected the country to be more divided instead.

Women and younger voters are more likely than men and those 40 and over to say a personal relationship has suffered because of the election. But older voters agree with women that there is less political tolerance in America today.

Majorities across all political parties think Americans are less tolerant of others' political views, but Republicans (69%) believe so less strongly than Democrats (77%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (87%). Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democrats say the election has hurt a personal relationship, compared to 42% of Republicans and 30% of unaffiliateds.

Interestingly, voters who think Americans are more tolerant of the political views of others these days are the most likely to say the election has negatively affected a personal relationship.

In November, 26% of all voters said the 2016 presidential election was causing more stress in their family.

But just 21% of Americans intended to avoid politics completely during the post-election holiday family gatherings

Shortly after the election, voters were closely divided over whether the street protests against Trump’s election were the product of genuine concern or just being staged by troublemakers. But most agreed the protests wouldn't achieve anything good.

Most voters wanted Democrats to work with Trump once he was in the White House, but Democrats strongly disagreed. Still, voters were more hopeful about the parties cooperating than they’d been since President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

While Democrats plot to delay or stop Trump’s Cabinet choices and his first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, voters strongly believe all his selections deserve a final vote by the full Senate. A majority of voters - including half of Democrats - don’t think Democrats in Congress will be able to halt the new president’s agenda.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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