Poll finds Clinton, Trump supporters have few friends on other side

Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 15:20:32-04

WASHINGTON (CNN) — If you support a particular presidential candidate, it’s likely that many of your friends feel the same way.

A Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday found that nearly half of Hillary Clinton’s supporters (47%) say they have no close friends who back Donald Trump. Similarly, one-third (31%) of Trump supporters say they have no close friends who support Clinton.

Forty-four percent of Trump supporters surveyed say they have “a lot” of close friends who also support Trump and another 38% say they have “some” close friends who support the Republican candidate. Similar shares of Clinton supporters say that they have “a lot” (41%) or “some” (40%) close friends who also support the Democratic candidate.

The divide is wider when broken down by race. More than seven in 10 black Clinton supporters (72%) say they count no Trump supporters among their close friends. A much smaller share — 36% — of white Clinton supporters said the same. Additionally, more black Clinton supporters than white supporters said they had “a lot” of close friends who also supported Clinton, 59% to 33%.

While Americans are more likely to surround themselves with friends who support their presidential candidate of choice, the divide also extends to the conversations they’re having about the election. The Pew survey showed that most Americans are more likely to discuss the 2016 presidential race with people who share their support for the same candidate.

Just 37% of Trump supporters say they’ve discussed the election with a Clinton supporter, but 76% say they’ve talked about it with a fellow Trump supporter. Similarly, just 40% of Clinton supporters say they’ve talked about the election with a Trump supporter, while 72% say they have talked about the election with other Clinton supporters.

Voters supportive of both candidates show similar willingness to share who they support. Sixty percent of Clinton’s supporters and 57% of Trump’s supporters say they don’t mind if others know which candidate they prefer, but don’t go out of their way to share that information. Thirty-three percent of voters — 35% of Trump supporters and 31% of Clinton supporters — described themselves as “pretty outspoken” about their support.

Regardless of who they support, more than half of voters (59%) said their conversations about the 2016 race have had more to do with the candidates’ personalities and comments than specific issues and policy positions (32%). A slightly larger share of Clinton supporters (66%) said their conversations focused on personalities and candidate comments than the share of Trump supporters that said the same (53%).

Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel was conducted June 7-July 5 among 4,602 adults, including 3,843 registered voters. 4,172 respondents were surveyed on the Internet and 430 by mail. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points and the margin of error among registered voters is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.