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Unity vs. Division: Assessing Public Perception Of President Joe Biden’s Identity Politics Approach

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(CTN NEWS) – President Joe Biden’s initial campaign pledge to foster national unity, a significant portion of Americans now perceive his administration as exacerbating division through the lens of identity politics, according to recent polling data.

A remarkable 92% of surveyed Republicans expressed the view that Biden’s actions were contributing to a more fragmented nation. Conversely, 84% of Democrats believed his efforts were oriented towards unification.

Among the crucial independent voter demographic, which has held reservations about Biden, half concurred that his approach was leading to divisiveness.

Throughout his candidacy and subsequent victory, President Biden consistently underscored the importance of unity in his rhetoric.

This sentiment was reiterated in his inauguration speech and was recently reiterated when commemorating the tragic anniversary of the U.S. Capitol riot.

In his address, he articulated, “I firmly believe that the presidency’s essence and purpose lie in uniting our nation, fostering cohesion rather than fracture, and elevating the collective ‘us’ over individual ‘me’.”

He emphasized that the core principles of America—liberty, freedom, and equality—continue to burn as an enduring flame, a testament to the nation’s aversion to autocracy and the prevailing preference for order and peace over tumultuousness and violence.

As the second anniversary of the January 6 riot unfolded, a notable 53% of Americans harbored concerns about the potential recurrence of a similar incident in the future.


American Perspectives: Pervasive Concerns Amidst Political Polarization and Governance

In spite of Biden’s appeals for unity, a majority of Americans hold the belief that political polarization will continue to escalate throughout their lifetimes.

Additionally, over three-quarters of the population view domestic political instability as a more formidable threat than foreign adversaries.

The prevailing negative outlook among Americans extends beyond the realm of politics. The outlook on the economy remains predominantly unfavorable, as nearly half of the populace (46%) anticipates a deterioration in economic conditions within the coming year.

Furthermore, there has been a substantial upswing in the percentage of Americans who are skeptical about the nation’s ability to address its substantial challenges. This figure has risen from 41% in the previous year to 56% at present.

Doubts about the general public’s political acumen have become more pronounced among Americans.

Around three-quarters of the population (76%) now hold limited to no confidence in the intelligence of the American electorate when it comes to making political decisions, marking an increase from the 62% recorded in 2021.

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, encompassing 5,079 participants from the Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel and conducted between March 27 and April 2, 2023, underscores Biden’s job approval rating, which remains below the 40% mark.

Out of those polled, merely 37% express approval for his job performance, while 60% register their disapproval.

Public Sentiment Regarding Progressive News Media’s Impact on Democracy and Political Divisions in the U.S.

Meanwhile, with regard to the influence of the progressive news media on democracy and the intensification of political divisions within the United States, a prevailing sentiment among Americans is that it is yielding more harm than benefit.

In a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press, nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults express the belief that the news media is contributing to the widening political divide within the nation.

Additionally, just below half of the respondents exhibit limited to no trust in the media’s capacity to deliver news in an impartial and truthful manner.

The survey underscores the apprehensions of Americans about the dissemination of misinformation and the roles played by media outlets, politicians, and social media platforms in amplifying it.

Simultaneously, the respondents express mounting concerns about the safety and security of journalists, indicating a complex mix of worries.

This erosion of confidence in traditional news sources might propel a significant number of Americans to turn towards social media platforms and less reliable websites that propagate false information, thereby cultivating echo chambers that reinforce partisan viewpoints, ultimately intensifying the polarization.

While a slim majority of respondents harbor some degree of confidence in the liberal news media’s ability to present news comprehensively and fairly, a mere 16% demonstrate a high level of confidence.

Nearly half, or 45%, admit to having limited to no confidence in the media’s future trajectory.

The poll’s findings illuminate the intricate rapport that Americans have with the media.

While a substantial majority acknowledge the value of in-depth investigative journalism in comprehending subjects of interest, they are more prone to scanning headlines rather than delving into detailed investigative pieces.

Amidst a general backdrop of diminished trust in the media, a majority of participants opine that media coverage of topics pertinent to them is at least somewhat satisfactory.

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Divergent Views on Media’s Impact on Democracy and Society

A considerable proportion of individuals, approximately forty percent, perceive the press as contributing more harm than protection to American democracy, while a mere two in ten believe it serves as a safeguard.

An equivalent four in ten individuals express a stance that neither assertion applies.

Joe Salegna, a Republican hailing from Long Island, New York, attributes the intensification of this situation to partisan news outlets and social media platforms that have, in his opinion, nurtured a perspective among many Americans that casts fellow citizens as adversaries.

Salegna, aged 50, voiced his concerns to the Associated Press, stating, “I believe this is fracturing our nation. The situation has notably worsened since the 2016 election.”

Disparities in sentiment towards the news media are evident across party lines, with Republicans holding a more negative view than Democrats.

Specifically, 61% of Republicans believe the media is detrimental to democracy, compared to 23% of Democrats, while 36% of independents align with neither party.

A consensus spanning party affiliations emerges around the notion that the news media contributes to political divisions. However, Republicans are considerably more inclined than Democrats to perceive this as a frequent occurrence.

A heightened number of Republicans are of the opinion that news coverage is substantially influenced by the U.S. government and the political inclinations of journalists.

Janis Fort’s perspective on the media’s credibility has been shaped by its coverage of recent events such as presidential elections, the COVID-19 pandemic, and protests against police violence targeting Black Americans.

Fort asserts that different networks prioritize varying stories, leading viewers to feel uncertain about whom to trust.

Aged 71 and retired, Fort, a Republican residing in Navarre, Florida, contends that the media perpetuates fear and has left her and many she knows feeling uninformed and perplexed.

Unraveling the Impact of Media Proliferation on Polarization and Disinformation

Research indicates that the proliferation of the media landscape, largely propelled by the internet, has contributed to the deepening polarization within society.

Experts attribute the heightened political divisions in America to a range of factors, including gerrymandering, which erodes political competition, and the actions of politicians who sow fear and distrust.

However, media fragmentation and the dissemination of misinformation also constitute significant contributing factors to this phenomenon.

“We ought to be deeply concerned about the vitality of our democracy,” warned Joshua Tucker, a political scientist at New York University who specializes in partisanship and co-directs NYU’s Centre for Social Media.

The apprehension surrounding the menace posed by disinformation transcends party lines, with nearly ninety percent of U.S. adults voicing concerns about its prevalence.

Each day, a third of Americans encounter news containing dubious assertions by politicians or deceptive headlines.

Chris Nettell, a Democrat from Hickory Creek, Texas, expressed that while credible journalism still exists, the democratizing nature of the internet has enabled virtually anyone to assume the role of a “journalist.”

Nettell remarked, “Certain news outlets now exclusively cater to specific segments of society, and those individuals often accept these perspectives as universally held beliefs due to their limited exposure to differing viewpoints.”

Social media’s influential role in this context is undeniable, as nearly two-thirds of respondents anticipate encountering misleading news reports when they come across content on social media platforms.

Interestingly, those who regularly derive their news from social media are marginally more inclined to believe such content compared to others.

Public Perceptions of Media Responsibility and Press Freedom in the United States: Survey Insights

In general, approximately 60% of individuals attribute responsibility to the news media for the propagation of misinformation, and a similar proportion holds it accountable for actively addressing this issue.

A majority also places blame on other entities, including social media corporations and politicians, for both the dissemination and prevention of disinformation.

Araceli Cervantes, a 39-year-old Republican mother of four residing in Chicago, remarked, “Given that many individuals source their information from social media, people tend to endorse whatever aligns with their preexisting beliefs.”

Regarding the protection of press freedom in the United States, 44% of respondents express a favorable view of the government’s efforts, while 24% hold an unfavorable perspective.

The well-being of journalists is a prominent concern among most Americans, with nearly one-third indicating either high or extreme levels of worry regarding attacks on the press.

The survey, conducted from March 30 to April 3, encompassed 1,002 participants and utilized a sample extracted from NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel, a probability-based selection intended to mirror the demographic makeup of the U.S. population.

The margin of sampling error for all respondents is 4.4 percentage points.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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