by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
To look on the bright side, Americans don’t disagree about everything. One issue in particular seems to bring them together in near-perfect accord: Are we a unified nation after more than a year-and-a-half of President Joe Biden? Americans overwhelmingly answer no, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
To gauge the ongoing unity zeitgeist, each month the I&I/TIPP Poll asks Americans whether “the United States is: Very united. Somewhat united. Somewhat divided. Very divided. Not sure.”
The data make for depressing reading. Among those responding to the poll, taken Aug. 2-4 from online surveys of 1,335 adults across the county, 74% described the U.S. as “Divided,” versus just 24% who called it “United.” The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points.
And among all survey participants, the No. 1 response was “very divided,” with 43% answering this. No. 2 was “somewhat divided,” at 30%. By comparison, just 8% of the entire survey called America “very united,” while 16% described it as “somewhat united.” Just 2% were “not sure.”
For a country whose very name includes the word “United,” that’s notable.
President Biden even made “unity” the key theme of his post-2020 victory speech:
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify; who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.”
“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” Biden added. “And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”
This was the early genesis of the I&I/TIPP Unity Index.
Of all the promises to emerge from the Biden campaign, his pledge to bring America back together again after years of bitter political and cultural acrimony resonated with Americans across the political spectrum.