It is a sign of our times. It used to be that the key criterion for college roommates was whether you are a “partier v. non-partier.” Now, it is just your party.
A new NBC and Generation Lab study of the class of 2025 showed that roughly half of college students refuse to live with someone who voted for a member of a different political party. That percentage is notably much higher with Democrats rather than Republicans.
According to the poll, 46% responded that they would “probably not” or “definitely not” be willing to share a room with someone from another political party. Of those, 62% of young Democrats refused to share a room with a member of the Republican party while only 28% of young Republicans took that position.
That attitude extended to marriage where 52% ruled out a spouse from an opposing party. So much for opposites attracting. Notably, 62% would not work for a company that does not share their political values. It seems Twitter is going to be busy this hiring season.
The poll captures the rising intolerance on our campuses. When I went to college, there was an excitement about meeting and rooming with people from different backgrounds and values. Intolerance has become an article of faith among many students who seek to cancel speakers and professors who hold opposing views.
The poll reflects not just our age of rage but the increasing siloed news consumption of citizens. People now largely remain in echo chambers for news from the left or the right. It appears that such self imposed isolation now extends socially and professionally for the rising generation, particularly for Democratic students.