Americans are arguing less this election cycle, survey says

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Americans may consider this a more divided country than four years ago, but they’re arguing about it a lot less than they were before the 2012 election.

Twenty percent (20%) of American Adults say they have gotten into a heated argument with a friend of family member about the upcoming election, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. But that compares to 45% in late October 2012.

Only eight percent (8%) say the upcoming election has negatively affected their personal friendship with a friend or family member, while just 10% say next month’s election is causing more stress in their family. Two years ago, 27% said the presidential election had negatively affected a personal friendship, and 30% said it was causing more family stress.

A sizable 68% of adults, however, still believe Americans are less tolerant of each other’s political opinions than they were in the past, little changed from 2012. Only 13% think they are more tolerant now, while 14% say the level of political tolerance is about the same.

Funny how an election year can warm things up, though. Last year at this time, just 56% said Americans are less tolerant of the political views of others.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on October 22-23, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Just 40% of likely U.S. voters now think American elections are fair, down from a high of 57% just before the 2012 presidential election.

Americans across the demographic board report fewer arguments and less family tension over politics than two years ago, although men are a bit more likely than women to be arguing about the upcoming election.

Whites say there is less tolerance for the political views of others than blacks and other minorities do.

Republicans, Democrats and those not affiliated with either of the major political parties are also in general agreement – for once – on all the questions in this survey.

Even those who say Americans are less tolerant of the political views of others say there’s a lot less arguing and family stress this election cycle.

Democrats continue to feel much more strongly than Republicans that their representatives in Congress are doing a good job fighting for what their party believes in. But most voters in both parties think the current Congress should be thrown out.

Most also remain convinced that neither political party represents the American people.

Democrats and Republicans are tied again this week on the Generic Congressional Ballot and have been separated by two points or less most weeks this year.

Are Americans so fed up in fact that they’re done with the two-party system?

On the other hand, 90% believe voters in countries with democratically elected governments have a responsibility to be informed about major policy issues, but just nine percent (9%) think most Americans are informed voters.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.