More than half of US voters think Trump is 'tearing the country apart'

US President Donald Trump. Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

More than half of the respondents to a Fox News poll believe that President Donald Trump is doing more to tear the country apart than bring it together.

The poll, released Wednesday evening, offered a dismal view of Trump’s performance in the wake of his response to racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. Fifty-six per cent of the 1,006 respondents said Trump was “tearing the country apart,” while just 33% said he was “drawing it together.” Another 11% said they didn’t know.

Like most polls conducted in the Trump era, the numbers were highly polarised along partisan lines. A whopping 93% of Democrats and 59% of Independents said the president was dividing the country, compared to just 15% of Republicans.

Trump also scored poorly in the area of race relations — just 33% of respondents said they approved of how he was handling the issue.

The poll was conducted after Trump’s controversial pardon of Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff convicted for defying a court order to stop detaining people merely on the belief they were in the country illegally. The decision was met with bipartisan criticism and drew complaints that Trump was abusing his powers to grant clemency to help a political ally — Arpaio was one of Trump’s earliest supporters.

Critics also accused Trump of exacerbating racial tensions with his comments to the Charlottesville unrest, which led to the death of a counter-protester at the hands of an apparent white supremacist. Trump initially blamed the violence on “many sides,” and later claimed there were “very fine people” marching alongside the white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.

Wednesday’s poll also reflected Trump’s sinking approval ratings. Just 41% of respondents approved of Trump’s performance as president, and 55% disapproved of it — the highest figure in a Fox News poll yet.

Despite the negative assessment, just 2% of Trump voters wished they had voted differently in the 2016 election, the poll found.

See the full results here »

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