A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted over the past fractious, violent week shows a majority of voters think that President Donald Trump has done more to divide the country than unite it since he took office last year — but that the national news media are even worse.
Just 3 in 10 voters, 30 percent, said Trump has done more to unite the country, compared with 56 percent who said he’s done more to divide it. Even more voters, 64 percent, said the media have done more to divide the country, while only 17 percent say they have done more to unite it.
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Majorities of Democrats (88 percent) and independents (54 percent) said Trump has done more to divide the U.S., while 55 percent of Republicans said Trump has done more to unite the country instead.
But few voters in either party — 28 percent of Democrats, 9 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of independents — said the national news media have done more to unite the country.
The poll was conducted Oct. 25-30, a tumultuous week that included the Oct. 26 arrest of a Florida man on charges of sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and other Trump critics, and the Oct. 27 murder of 11 Jewish worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
A majority of voters, 58 percent, said they consider political violence to be widespread, including 63 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents.
Asked who’s more to blame for political violence, 36 percent said Trump, while 9 percent pinned the blame on congressional Republicans. Fewer than a third, 31 percent, hold Democrats in Congress more responsible. Nearly a quarter, 24 percent, had no opinion.
“Voters across the political spectrum agree that political violence is widespread, but have different viewpoints on who’s responsible for the growing wave of unrest,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. “Notably, 58 percent of voters say political violence is widespread — including 63 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans. However, while 77 percent of Democrats say President Trump and the GOP are responsible for political violence, just 14 percent of Republican voters say the same.”
The poll concluded with one week to go until the midterm elections, and the political environment remains challenging for Trump and Republicans. The president’s approval rating is 43 percent, down a tick from 45 percent last week. A majority of voters, 54 percent, disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, up slightly from 51 percent.
Democrats have an 8-point lead on the generic congressional ballot, 46 percent to 38 percent — statistically unchanged from last week, when Democrats led, 45 percent to 39 percent.
More than 3 in 4 registered voters, 77 percent, said they are very likely to vote in the midterm elections, almost certainly a far greater percentage than will actually cast ballots. Eighty-four percent of Democratic voters said they are “very likely” to vote, compared with 77 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of independents.
Among only those voters who said they are “very likely” to vote, Democrats had a slightly larger, 10-point lead on the generic ballot, 51 percent to 41 percent.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 2,543 registered voters and carries a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.