POLITICS
11/02/2016 07:22 pm ET

Americans' Strongest Bonds Lie Along Party Lines

Other demographic similarities play second fiddle.
James Boast via Getty Images

There’s no shortage of demographic splits between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s supporters, whether it’s gender, race or age.

But if you ask Americans which groups they have the most in common with during this election, they’re more likely to name their political parties than any of a slew of other demographic groupings.

In a new HuffPost/YouGov survey, 30 percent of Americans picked “people in the same political party as you” as being one of the two groups with whom they shared the most common interests and concerns, followed by “people in the same age group” at 24 percent and “people of the same religion” at 19 percent.

Respondents who wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election cited party as the group they had the most affinity with. The same was true of respondents who favored Donald Trump. For people backing Clinton, age and race or ethnicity were the second and third most relevant demographics, respectively, while those backing Trump picked religion and age.

For the most part, people are also planning to vote along party lines. According to HuffPost Pollster’s current national average, 89 percent of Democrats support Hillary Clinton, and 86 percent of Republicans support Donald Trump.

Of course, people don’t always have a good sense of how the complicated mix of upbringing, circumstances, biases, beliefs and opinions translates into a decision on whom to vote for. And some people might feel there’s a certain stigma against saying their politics are determined by personal identity, whereas identifying as a staunch partisan might be seen as less objectionable. Divides along racial and generational lines, among others, also play a key role in how Americans decide which party to support in the first place.

Some voters may also hold biases they don’t realize they harbor, or simply don’t wish to acknowledge. Research this year, for instance, has found Trump supporters are more likely to hold sexist attitudes or to express racial resentment.

Still, the results offer a look at how Americans believe their own demographic details influence their politics. The HuffPost/YouGov poll also asked respondents whether they see themselves as having a lot of common interests and concerns with other people with whom they share various characteristics, or whether they don’t consider those attributes relevant to this election.

Among the results:

57 PERCENT SAY THEY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH OTHER PEOPLE IN THEIR PARTY

Fifty-two percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they have a lot of common interests and concerns based on party, as do 62 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Unlike the remaining questions, which were asked of all Americans, this one excluded those independents who don’t express an affinity for either of the two main parties.

24 PERCENT SAY THEY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE THE SAME GENDER

Female Clinton backers are by far the most likely to feel united by gender. Forty-three percent say they share a lot of concerns with other women, compared to just 12 percent of the women who’d rather see Trump win. Only 27 percent of men who want Trump to win, and 19 percent of men who’d prefer Clinton, say they feel particular kinship to other men in this election.

25 PERCENT SAY THEY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH OTHER PEOPLE OF THEIR RACE AND ETHNICITY

White supporters of both candidates are about equally unlikely to say they have a lot of common concerns with others who share their heritage ― we heard this view from only 22 percent of white people who’d rather see Trump win, and 21 percent of whites who’d rather see Clinton win. By contrast, 45 percent of non-whites who want to see Clinton win say they have a lot of shared interests based on race. (The share of non-whites who would rather see Trump win was too small to examine as a subgroup.)

33 PERCENT SAY THEY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE SIMILAR AMOUNTS OF MONEY

Thirty-two percent of those who want Trump to win, and 41 percent of those who prefer Clinton, see economic standing as particularly relevant. Forty-five percent of Clinton backers in households making less than $50,000 a year, and 37 percent of Trump backers with similar finances, say they see others who have similar amounts of money as sharing their interests, compared to 37 percent of Clinton supporters and 32 percent of Trump supporters who make $50,000 or more.

29 PERCENT SAY THEY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE ABOUT THE SAME AGE

Hillary Clinton’s millennial supporters feel an especially strong kinship with others in their generation. Fifty-two percent of Americans under age 30 who want to see Clinton win say that they share common interests and concerns based on age. So do around 40 percent of her backers who are age 65 or older, although the sample size of that subgroup is also small. A third or fewer of either Clinton’s supporters between ages 30 and 65, or Trump backers regardless of age, consider age a uniting factor. Overall, 25 percent of Americans who’d rather see Trump win, and 37 percent who’d rather see Clinton win, see age as relevant.

30 PERCENT SAY THEY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH OTHER PEOPLE OF THE SAME RELIGION

There’s an especially wide divide between the candidates on this metric. Forty-five percent of those who want Trump to win say they have a lot of common interests and concerns based on religion, but the same is true for only 20 percent of those who want Clinton to win. Much of that difference has to do with evangelical or born-again Christians, who favor the GOP nominee. Sixty-three percent of self-described born-again Christians who favor Trump say they share a lot of interests with others in their religion, as do 41 percent of evangelicals who favor Clinton. Just 31 percent of non-evangelicals favoring Trump, and 13 percent of those favoring Clinton, say the same.

27 PERCENT SAY THEY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO LIVE NEAR THEM

Twenty-eight percent of those who want to see Clinton win, and 34 percent who want to see Trump win, think of location as being relevant. While the sample size is small, Trump’s rural supporters seem to be among the most likely to feel a bond with people in their geographical proximity.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Oct. 29-31 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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