Americans say the United States deeply divided, losing national character: NBC News and the Wall Street Journal Poll

September 7, 2017 10:30 pm

This file photo taken on August 11, 2017 shows white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clashing with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Getty Images)

The majority of Americans believe the is deeply divided and don’t see the as an exceptional place to live, according to a new poll.
The poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal also finds that the share of Americans who believe that the country has a “strong national character” is shrinking.
An overwhelming majority of Americans say the country is either mainly divided (59 percent) or totally divided (21 percent), the survey found.
Asked to identify some of the reasons for that division, poll respondents placed income inequality at the top of the list, with 23 percent naming the gap between the rich and the poor as one of the primary causes of strife in America.
Less than a third of American adults — 28 percent — called the US the “single best place to live in the world,” with another 17 percent calling it “among the very few best places.”
Compared to other countries, 37 percent of respondents said the US is merely “above average” and 14 percent rated the country as “average.” An additional four percent called the US “below average” on the global scale.
Asked to rate the “national character” of the US on a scale of one to 10, only 14 percent of those surveyed offered a “strong” rating of eight or higher, while 34 percent expressed a “weak” rating of four or lower.
US President Donald Trump’s job approval rating in the poll stood at just 40 percent, with 55 percent disapproving. The poll came as the nation has grappled with a historically unpopular president in Trump.
Trump has already spent more time under 40 percent than any other first-year president, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
The survey was conducted August 5-9, before Trump was widely criticized for his handling of a white supremacy march in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended in the death of a peaceful counter-protester.
A poll released last week by Fox News shows that 55 percent of American voters disapprove of Trump’s performance as president and believe he is “tearing the country apart.”
According to the survey, Trump has lost the most support from Republican men and whites without a college degree (a nine-point decline for each) and conservatives (a seven-point loss). All three groups are significant demographics in his voter base.
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