Liberal Dems more likely to shut down political talk over disagreement

Liberal Democrats are more likely to stop discussing politics with someone with whom they disagree than other Americans, a survey reveals.

Sixty percent of liberal Democrats cut off political talk with someone in person or online because of what the person said, an analysis from the Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways Project found.

By comparison, 45 percent of conservative Republicans said they stopped chatting about politics with someone after hearing what the person, the poll said.

In general, Democrats were more touchy than Republicans. Half of Democrats said they stopped talking politics with someone, compared to 41 percent of Republicans.

Pew said the findings mirror an earlier survey conducted in 2014. It revealed that respondents who identified as “consistent liberals” were more likely than “consistent conservatives” to block or defriend someone because they disagreed with that person over politics — 44 percent to 31 percent.

There was also a racial gap in the most recent poll.

Half of white adults said they stopped talking to someone about politics with someone over his or her views, compared to just 37 percent of blacks and 34 percent of Hispanics who said the same, according to the survey of 12,043 Americans done last fall and which Pew tweeted out Monday during the Republican National Convention and a week after the Democratic National Convention.

In a sign of America’s divisive times, 45 percent of the nation’s adults overall said they stopped talking about political and election news with someone because of something they said, either in person or online. A slim majority of American adults — 54 percent — say they had not cut off political talk with someone because of something the person said.

“At a time when the country’s polarizing politics and public discourse are dividing many Americans, close to half of all U.S. adults acknowledge that they have stopped discussing political and election news with someone,” the analysis said.

The poll also found that respondents who followed politics and elections most closely — 58 percent — were more likely to stop talking to someone about politics with someone than others who were less engaged.

“All in all then,” the Pew analysis said, “those who are at the ideological poles of the parties and those who are most engaged with political news tend to have a greater inclination to cut certain people out of their political discussions because of something they’ve said, while the less engaged to begin with are less driven to restrict these conversations.”

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