A plurality (44%) of likely voters believe President Joe Biden will unite the country. Still, the country appears to be divided, as two in five voters (39%) did not think President Biden can unite the country, and almost one in five (17%) voters were not sure. The jury is still out on whether Joe Biden will actually bring a strong majority of voters together, but his inauguration speech was a good start.
Nearly half of voters under the age of 50 (33% unite/49% will not unite) were not optimistic Biden could unite the country, while just the opposite was true of voters over the age of 50 (58% unite/29% will not unite). Also, majorities of Democrats (73% unite/11% will not unite), African Americans (60% unite/18% will not unite) and Hispanics (64% unite/24% will not unite) believed Biden will unite the country.
Although, Biden has the momentum of a new president, fresh off his historic victory in the 2020 presidential election, there are still many political fault lines in the U.S. The Democrats hold the thinnest of majorities in the House and Senate and it could be difficult for Biden to form a consensus in Congress, which could further increase the political divide among an already frosty electorate.
There were groups who disagreed that Biden will unite the electorate: women (42% unite/37% will not unite) were not as agreeable as men (46% unite/40% will not unite), non-college educated voters (42% unite/39% will not unite) were more pessimistic than college educated voters (47% unite/38% will not unite), and Republicans (19% unite/68% not unite) and Independent voters (37% unite/39% not unite) were also in agreement, albeit different levels of intensity, that Joe Biden would not unite the country.
Consumers, such as weekly Walmart shoppers (49% unite/39% will not unite) and weekly Amazon shoppers (58% unite/29% will not unite) felt Biden had what it takes to unite the country. Voters who never shop at Walmart (41% unite/34% will not unite) felt Biden will unite the country, but voters who never shop on Amazon (40% unite/44% will not unite) disagreed and felt Biden will not unite the country.
Suburban voters were split, as a slim plurality of suburban men (39% unite/42% will not unite) and suburban women (39% unite/40% will not unite) thought Biden will not be able to unite the country.
Voters were somewhat optimistic Joe Biden will unite the country. Most sub-groups agreed too, but not everyone was on board. While the Democratic base believed the new president can pull off the difficult task of bridging the political divide in the U.S., surprisingly, two groups who really helped Biden secure the presidency had the least faith in his ability to unite the country: voters under the age of 50 and suburban women. Do they doubt his ability to cross the aisle and be the deal maker of yonder, or do younger and suburban voters believe the political fractures are too deep to heal? President Biden has a tough task in front of him, and one that will undoubtedly test his will and the soul of the nation.
According to the latest Zogby Poll®, the right direction/wrong track indicator is at its lowest point in over a decade. A lot has happened since we last publicly released our polling data. The capital riot has destabilized and polarized the country further and the number of corona virus cases and deaths continue to rise. Joe Biden begins his presidency with the public feeling very low at the moment.
Currently, 29% believe the country is heading in the right direction, while a whopping 61% think things are off on the wrong track; ten percent were not sure.
There were interesting contrasts in the data, as men (35% right direction/59% wrong track) were much more likely to think the country was heading in the right direction, while only a quarter of women (24% right direction/64% wrong track) thought so. Younger voters aged 18-29 (38% right direction/49% wrong track) and aged 18-24 (45% right direction/41% wrong track) were much more likely to think the country was heading in the right direction while older voters aged 65+ (15% right direction/76% wrong track) thought the country was off on the wrong direction.
Democrats (38% right direction/54% wrong track) were not sanguine, but nonetheless more enthusiastic than Republicans (26% right direction/66% wrong track) and Independents (22% right direction/66% wrong track). Minorities-African Americans (40% right direction/52% wrong track) and Hispanics (47% right direction/39% wrong track) were also more likely to think things were heading in the right direction as opposed to white voters (23% right direction/68% wrong track).
Environs played a role in how voters perceived the direction of the country. Voters in large cities (43% right direction/48% wrong track) were much more likely to think things were heading in the right direction, while voters in the suburbs (23% right direction/68% wrong track) and rural areas (20% right direction/70% wrong track) were much more likely to things were off on the wrong track. Voters in rural areas were not pleased with the direction of the country-the right direction figure dipped below twenty percent. Among suburban and rural voters, suburban men (23% right direction/70% wrong track) and rural women (18% right direction/69% wrong track) were the most pessimistic about the direction of the country.
Due to the many issues plaguing the nation right now, it's not surprising voters would think things are off on the wrong track. To put voters' sentiment in perspective and to understand the context of the current right direction/wrong track numbers, we have to go back three presidents and to our catalog of data on the direction of the U.S. During the Bush years, which were ripe with controversy and political rancor, the right direction number dipped to 16%/74% wrong track during May and June of 2008, and during the Obama presidency the right direction figure reached 22%/68% wrong track in December 2010 during the Great Recession.
So even though things feel really awful right now, thing have been worse. This might be good news for Joe Biden, but it doesn't feel too comforting to voters.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
1/18/21 - 1/19/21
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 873 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 37% Democrat, 35% Republican and 28% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 873 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.