POLITICS

Only About 3% Of Americans Actually Fought About Politics On Thanksgiving

Most people made it through dinner without fighting about anything else, either.
This is the only good kind of pie chart.
This is the only good kind of pie chart.

Some seasonal traditions are inescapable. Among them: Christmas music, holiday sales and an absolute glut of stories on how to win (or avoid) knock-down-drag-out family arguments about politics. But while advice for these holiday fights is ubiquitous, the actual conflicts they’re meant to address are vanishingly rare, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. 

We’ve already found in past years that most people don’t head into Thanksgiving anticipating any arguments. But hey, maybe things tend to get more heated than expected? So, this year, after the last of the turkey and pie was cleared away, HuffPost ran a follow-up poll to ask the public how their dinners actually went. 

The verdict: Pretty peaceful. Just 16% of Americans who had a Thanksgiving dinner say politics came up at all this year. Only 3% say things devolved into an actual argument ― a number so trifling that the sample size for a few follow-up questions about the nature of the fights was actually too small to report on.

One reason for the lack of partisan sniping may have to do with self-selection: most people tend to have social circles with similar views. Just 22% of people who attended a dinner say their fellow guests included both supporters and opponents of President Trump. And compared to those who shared their table only with political compatriots, those bipartisan diners were only about half as likely to talk about politics.

More broadly, though, holiday strife just isn’t really that common. Only 5% of people who attended a Thanksgiving dinner say they got into an argument that wasn’t about politics.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 3-5 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.

HuffPost 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. 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.