After the better half of the last decade polarized the country to the extreme, politically oriented dating apps are on the rise.
On the left, those with a penchant for turtleneck sweaters, hatred of orange presidents and a lottery of genders can check out Colorado-based TruuBlue, which matches social justice progressives.
On the right, those who love long shoots at the range, not murdering unborn children, and woke-free zones can check out The Right Stuff.
TruuBlue, launched by Boulder based tech entrepreneur Dennis Hefter, launched a preliminary enrollment period earlier this month with a $500,000 injection from private investors.
"I don’t think you need to be a Democrat to be on TruuBlue, but you need to be a progressive," the 61-year-old Hefter told the Washington Times, who added "We support all genders, sexualities and gender pronouns."
"I think we’re going to get a ton of progressive college kids," Hefter continued. "They’ll come here because they’re fervent about their beliefs and don’t want to waste time dating people who don’t share their values."
Once TruuBlue hits 5,000 downloads, it will start matching users next month based on their political values and ranked preferences on six social justice causes: "climate change, gun control, abortion, LGBTQ rights, immigration laws and universal health care."
The Right Stuff - which landed a $1.5 million investment from Billionaire Peter Thiel, has marketed itself over the past year to God-fearing conservatives who value heterosexual marriage, family, and children.
Launched in September 2022, The Right Stuff has had more than 150,000 downloads and is averaging 43,000 monthly active users, said John McEntee, the app’s co-founder and a former presidential aide to Donald Trump. He said 51% of active users are women. -Washington Times
"Conservative daters are looking to date with intention," said McEntee. "We have six couples [that we know of] getting married from the app, with the first wedding being this month."
The wait is finally over! pic.twitter.com/8POlHDRyYS— The Right Stuff (@daterightstuff) September 30, 2022
On launch day in 2022, The Right Stuff had 7,000 app downloads, 6,000 the second day, and 33,000 in the first month.
Though ideologically opposed, both Hefter and McEntee harbor a mutual sentiment. They believe the increasing political polarization in America can be a catalyst for niche dating apps' success.
But as online dating experiences an upsurge, thanks in part to pandemic lockdowns, some industry experts have questioned these new entrants. Amber Brooks of DatingNews.com, warns that while the notion of ideologically-aligned dating apps might be tempting, their practical utility often falls short, especially outside metropolitan areas. She highlights past ventures like BernieSingles and TrumpSingles, which dwindled over time.
Brooks also noted that many apps, such as Tinder, Bumble and Match.com allow users to filter by politics and religion.
That said, a February survey from American Perspectives found that political affiliation is the fourth-highest dating priority after children, smoking and religion.
That finding builds on several earlier surveys:
⦁ The American Family Survey from BYU/Deseret News found that just 21% of marriages were politically mixed in 2020. Only 3.6% were between Democrats and Republicans, Wendy Wang reported in an analysis for the Institute of Family Studies.
⦁ The Pew Research Center reported in 2020 that 71% of single Democrats said they probably or definitely would not be in a serious relationship with a Trump voter.
⦁ Pew reported that the perceived importance of political affiliations in dating profiles rose from 40% of current or recent online daters in 2019 to 53% in 2022, led by a surge of 16 percentage points among Democrats.
Which begs the question - when's that national divorce?