Poll: Voters say political division top issue facing US
Voters see political division as the top issue facing the United States, even as they remain deeply polarized over the general direction of the country, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.
The Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service’s battleground poll found that roughly one third of respondents — 32 percent — see the nation’s current divisions as one of their top two issues, topping those who said the same of the coronavirus pandemic, health care and economic issues such as jobs and taxes.
There’s broad disagreement on the overall direction of the country. Forty percent said the U.S. is on the “right track,” while a majority — 56 percent — believe it is on the “wrong track.” Another 4 percent said they are unsure.
The divergent opinions become starker when taking party affiliation into account. Seventy-three percent of Democrats believe the country is heading in the right direction compared to 90 percent of Republicans who believe it is moving in the wrong direction.
Nevertheless, more than two-thirds of voters surveyed say that they would prefer politicians who are willing to compromise in order to get things done over those who stand by their values and ideology, 69 percent to 27 percent, according to the survey.
“The country agrees politicians should compromise to find solutions and get things done on a wide range of issues and challenges, where the voters themselves register strong support for action, across partisan lines,” Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who helped conduct the survey, said in a statement.
A slight majority of voters — 52 percent — approve of President Biden’s job performance, while 45 percent disapprove, the poll found. And most respondents — 60 percent — believe that Biden is working at least somewhat hard to heal the nation’s political divisions.
Approval of Congress, meanwhile, is underwater for members of both parties. In all, 45 percent of voters say they approve of the job congressional Democrats are doing, while 29 percent say the same for Republican members of Congress.
Fifty-two percent say they disapprove of congressional Democrats’ job performance, and 67 percent say the same of congressional Republicans, according to the poll.
The Georgetown University battleground poll of 1,000 registered voters was conducted by Democratic firm Lake Research and Republican firm the Tarrance Group from June 5-10. It has a margin of sampling error of 3.1 percentage points.
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