Majority of Americans see a sharply divided nation
WASHINGTON » With just two weeks to go until the critical midterm elections, an overwhelming majority of Americans say the United States is greatly divided, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Few Americans believe those stark divisions will get better anytime soon.
The newly released survey found that more than 8 in 10 Americans think the country is greatly divided about important values. Just 20 percent of Americans say they think the country will become less divided over the next few years, and 39 percent think things will get worse. A strong majority of Americans, 77 percent, say they are dissatisfied with the state of politics in the country.
The poll was conducted Oct. 11-14 in the final sprint to the midterm elections, in which President Donald Trump has been rallying his supporters to turn out to vote in November. Overall, 59 percent of Americans disapprove of how Trump, a Republican, is handling his job as president, while 40 percent of Americans approve.
How Americans view Trump divides along partisan lines, according to the poll. While 83 percent of Republicans approve of how Trump is handling his job, 92 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of independents say they do not approve.
According to the poll, nearly half of Americans say they aren’t hearing enough from campaigns about the issues that matter most to them.
Overall, top issues for Americans include health care, education, economic growth, Social Security and crime, each of which was called very important by at least three- quarters of Americans. Fifty- eight percent of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country, compared with 25 percent who say they are satisfied.
Majorities of Americans also say that they are dissatisfied with the gap between the rich and the poor, race relations and environmental conditions. But there are partisan splits. Eightythree percent of Democrats are dissatisfied with the gap between the wealthy and the poor, compared with 43 percent of Republicans. Of environmental conditions, 75 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of Republicans say they are dissatisfied. And while 77 percent of Democrats say they’re dissatisfied with race relations, about 50 percent of Republicans say the same.