TOPICS > Politics

Poll shows liberals, conservatives worlds apart not just on politics

BY Domenico Montanaro  June 12, 2014 at 4:19 PM EST
A new Pew Research Center poll finds liberals and conservatives disagree on where to live, how big their house should be and whether walking to stores and restaurants is important.  Photo by Flickr user Chris Dlugosz

A new Pew Research Center poll finds liberals and conservatives disagree on where to live, house size and the importance of faith. Photo by Flickr user Chris Dlugosz

Liberals and conservatives don’t agree on much when it comes to politics. But it runs even deeper than that, a new Pew Research Center poll finds.

The most polarized on the right and left disagree on where to live, who to associate with, even how big their house should be and who their children should marry.

NewsHour will have a deeper look Thursday night at the Pew poll, but here are some of the data points, from a sociological standpoint that stood out:

  • Seventy-three percent of consistent liberals say it’s important to live near art museums or theaters, just 23 percent of consistent conservatives agree. Liberals and conservatives mostly agree that they want to be near extended family though that’s less important to liberals (73 percent conservative, 64 percent liberal), close to the outdoors for hiking, fishing and camping (73 percent conservative, 65 percent liberal), and having high-quality public schools, though that’s slightly less important to conservatives (86 percent liberal, 79 percent conservative).

  • Consistent liberals are more likely to prioritize ethnic diversity than consistent conservatives. Seventy-six percent of consistent liberals say it’s important to live in an area with people of mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds, while just 20 percent of consistent conservatives say so.

  • Conversely, consistent conservatives – 57 percent — are more likely than consistent liberals — 17 percent — to believe it’s important to live in a place where many people share your religious faith.

  • Fifty percent of consistent conservatives say it’s important to live in a place where people share their views compared to 35 percent of consistent liberals.

  • Sixty-three percent of consistent conservatives say their close friends share their views compared to 49 percent of consistent liberals.

  • Forty-one percent of consistent conservatives prefer to live in rural areas; 35 percent say small towns. Almost a majority of consistent liberals –- 46 percent — say they want to live in the city.

  • Seventy-five percent of consistent conservatives would rather live in places where the houses are larger and farther apart, and where you have to drive to schools, stores and restaurants. Seventy-seven percent of consistent liberals say the opposite. They prefer smaller houses, closer to each other, where you can walk to schools, stores and restaurants.

  • Just nine percent of the country overall would be unhappy if someone married “outside” their preferred party. But those numbers rise sharply among the most polarized with 30 percent of the consistently conservative saying they’d be unhappy if their child married a Democrat and 25 percent of consistent liberals saying the opposite.