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Polarizing Politics During a Post-Midterm Holiday Season

Navigating family dynamics at Thanksgiving can be a challenge, especially during an election year. Given America’s deepening polarization, the holiday season may be especially tense this year. Using the 2018 American Values Survey, PRRI took a look at some of the issues that are most likely to spark debate across the Thanksgiving table.

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say electing more women (72 percent vs. 26 percent), people from racial and ethnic minority groups (61 percent vs. 22 percent), and members of the LGBT community (44 percent vs. 9 percent) would make things in the country better. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that electing more members of the LGBT community (40 percent vs. 12 percent), people from racial and ethnic minority groups (18 percent vs. 7 percent), and women (9 percent vs. 4 percent) would have a negative impact on the country.

Opinions about the opposite party are also likely to cause divisions at the table. PRRI data shows that ninety percent of Democrats have a negative view of the Republican Party, while 87 percent of Republicans have a negative view of the Democratic Party.

When it comes to President Trump, PRRI data shows that 82 percent of Republicans report having a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to just 10 percent of Democrats. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats have an unfavorable view of Trump, including 79 percent who have a very unfavorable view.

Though Trump-related issues are prone to divide Americans, there is substantial agreement on the current state of the Oval Office. Sixty-nine percent of Americans say they would like his speech and behavior to fall in line with his predecessors. The same number believe that he has damaged the dignity of the presidency.