How Election Day Politics Impacts Our Relationships


As the Election Day frenzy comes to a crescendo on Nov. 3, it’s not surprising that politics has become a more popular conversation topic for spouses and partners. And that uptick in dinner conversations and such has led to a downtick in the bedroom.

Such are the findings released recently by American Family Survey, a collaboration between the Deseret News and Brigham Young University’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy.

Quick disclaimer: It’s not as bad as you may think.

● Spouses or partners are talking more about political or social issues more, which marks an increase of six percentage points over the last year, and up 12 points since 2015.

● They are having sex less often, reflecting a five-point drop from last year, and 10 points since 2015.

● Couples are also discussing relationships less, a decline of four points since 2019 and 11 points since 2015.

But couples remain in sync when it comes to doing nice things for one another, talking about finances and going out together at a similar rate than the past. In fact, the survey indicates that close to eight in 10 couples say they do nice things for each other, and more than half say they discuss finances together.

So consider the healthy relationship glass more than half-full, even given the added dynamics of coping with a pandemic.

“It means there are some elements of family life that are staying pretty constant,” Christopher K. Karpowitz, who co-directs the center and co-wrote the survey report with Jeremy C. Pope, told the Deseret News. “Sometimes, when big things happen, we can assume that everything has changed. What we see is, even in the midst of this pandemic, there are some rhythms of family life that are continuing as they had before.”

The national survey included a sampling of 3,000 adults, spanning from July 3-14. The survey is now in its sixth year.

To read more, click here for the complete report.

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