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Democrats and Republicans see the other side as “generally bullies”

Democrats and Republicans see the other side as “generally bullies”

The acrid state of politics is seeping into Americans’ relationships and behavior, according to a poll out today from the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP), headed by David Axelrod.

Driving the news: Three-quarters of respondents in each party think people in the other “are generally bullies.”

Half of those surveyed said they have “avoided political discussions with others because I don’t know where they stand.”

  • A quarter reported losing friends — and the same number said they have avoided friends and relatives — over politics.

The online survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted last month by Republican pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Joel Benenson of Benenson Strategy Group, with input from students at the IOP.

Half of those polled say they have friends or relatives “who have changed because of the media they consume.”

  • “A free media and broad sharing of facts are essential to a healthy, functioning democracy,” Benenson said. “What this survey shows is how isolated we are in media silos, and the degree of skepticism people feel about the integrity of news sources.”

Go deeper: Read the pollSee a deck of verbatim responses.

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