Poll finds presidential race disrupting friendships, bringing out the worst in Americans

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gesture during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gesture during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead

A new poll finds many voters are concerned about the negative tone of this year’s presidential race.

About 70 percent of American voters surveyed believe the campaign has brought out the worst in people, according to Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray.

And 7 percent say they’ve lost or ended a friendship because of it.

“With the harsh rhetoric that’s really characterizing this race, people just can’t talk politics anymore to each other and have honest disagreements,” Murray said. “It’s really more of an existential, ‘If you like Hillary Clinton or if you like Donald Trump, there is something wrong with you psychologically.'”

About two-thirds of voters surveyed nationally said the harsh language in the campaign is unjustified.

“There’s a difference in that opinion depending on who people are voting for,” said Murray. “Forty-seven percent of Trump voters say that the harsh language being used today is justified. Only 17 percent of Clinton voters say the same thing. So the Trump voters seems to say let the expletives fly.”

The overwhelming sentiment about the nation’s politics is disappointment, he said. Just 20 percent of voters say they’re angry about the federal government.

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