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Poll: More voters see divided country

By Nikita Biryukov, November 27 2018 12:00 pm

There are more American voters that think the country is greatly divided than there were last year, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday.

Of the 802 registered voters polled by Monmouth, 77% think the country’s citizens are greatly divided, while only 20% think Americans are united.

The numbers saw a slight worsening of voter attitudes compared to last year, when 72% saw a great divide in he country and 23% did not.

This year’s attitude was held by independents members of both major political parties. A plurality of Republicans (44%) held that view. Majorities of Democrats (81%) and independents (59%) felt the same way.

While 62% of voters believe the country has grown more divided since President Donald Trump took office, those numbers remain largely unchanged from last year, when 63% felt the same way. Last December, 9% said the country had gotten more united. That figure climbed slightly to 11% this year.

“We just held a midterm election where record high turnout demonstrated that politics matters to people,” said Monmouth poll director Patrick Murray. “But that doesn’t mean they are particularly optimistic about what the future might hold. Negative opinion of American politics has not budged at all over the past year.”

There’s a small silver lining in the poll for Trump and his party. More Americans think he’s made progress on his promise to “drain the swamp” than thought the same last year, up to 30% from 25% in December 2017.

Those gains came from shifting opinions among Republicans, 66% of whom said he had made progress, up from 47% in 2017, and independents, whose opinions saw a slightly smaller shift from 14% in 2017 to 27% this year.

With only 4% believing Trump has drained any part of the swamp, Democratic opinions on the matter remain unchanged from 2017.

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