Gallup Finds Record Divisions in Trump's America

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Gallup Finds Record Divisions in Trump's America

Half of Americans believe the president-elect will continue to divide the United States

Trump's promise to unite the country has already been undermined by his cabinet picks, which thus far have been highly-controversial. (Photo: Chris UK/cc/flickr)

Trump's promise to unite the country has already been undermined by his cabinet picks, which thus far have been highly-controversial. (Photo: Chris UK/cc/flickr)

The election of Donald Trump has left the United States more divided than any time in the past 20 years, Gallup confirmed on Monday.

The poll's finding reflected the general mood of the country, evidenced through ongoing protests, political turmoil, and unprecedented unfavorability for the incoming commander-in-chief.

According to the survey, "77 percent of Americans, a new high, believe the nation is divided on the most important values, while 21 percent believe it is united and in agreement."

"All major subgroups of Americans," Gallup noted, "share the view that the nation is divided, though Republicans (68 percent) are less likely to believe this than independents (78 percent) and Democrats (83 percent)."

While the latest survey shows record discord, throughout the poll's history "the public has tended to perceive the nation as being more divided than united, apart from two surveys conducted shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks."

Trump rose to power on a campaign that seemed to deliberately exacerbate divisions between Americans, whether it be racial, religious, or economic.

In his election night victory speech, the president-elect declared, "Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division," and "come together as one united people."

But, as many have pointed out, Trump's promise to unite the country has already been undermined by his cabinet picks, which thus far have been highly-controversial. In many cases—chief strategist Steve Bannon, national security advisor Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, and attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and vice president-elect Mike Pence—Trump's inner circle is filled by people who have sowed divisions by propagating speech against minorities, Muslims, and LGBTQ people, among others. 

When asked if they think Trump will do more to divide or unite the country, 49 percent of respondents said the president-elect will continue to be divisive, while 45 percent answered the latter.

In comparison, after the re-elections of President George W. Bush in November 2004 and President Barack Obama in 2012 Americans showed greater optimism: 57 percent said Bush would unite the country and 55 percent believed Obama would.

In another survey published late last week, Gallup found that only 42 percent of Americans view Trump favorably, which is significantly lower than the ratings given to the last three presidents-elect before they took over the Office of the President.

According to Gallup, "Then President-elect Barack Obama had the highest favorable rating, 68 percent, in November 2008. Fifty-nine percent of Americans viewed George W. Bush positively just after the Supreme Court effectively decided the 2000 election in his favor in December of that year. Bill Clinton's favorable ratings were also just shy of 60 percent after he won the 1992 election."

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