WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Days after Democratic President Joe Biden gave a fiery speech attacking former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies as an extremist threat, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found a majority of Americans believe Trump’s movement is undermining democracy.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents in the two-day poll – including one in four Republicans – said Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement is threatening America’s democratic foundations.
Biden’s Sept. 1 speech marked a sharp turn for his efforts to boost Democrats in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans aim to win control of the U.S. Congress.
Speaking in Pennsylvania, a key electoral battleground, Biden urged voters to reject Trump and extremism. Republican leaders, including House of Representatives minority leader Kevin McCarthy, responded by calling Biden divisive.
The poll highlights the sharply polarized state of U.S. politics.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said Biden’s speech will further divide the country, though just about half of respondents said they didn’t watch or follow the speech at all.
While Trump remains popular among Republicans, his standing within the party has suffered since a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a bid to stop lawmakers from certifying Biden’s election victory.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 60% of Republicans don’t think Trump’s MAGA movement represents the majority of the party.
Biden’s own approval ratings remain low, despite a string of recent legislative achievements. Just 39% percent of respondents said they approve of Biden’s job performance as president, a level not far above the lowest levels Trump had during his presidency.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted online in English throughout the United States, gathered responses from 1,003 adults, including 411 Democrats and 397 Republicans. It has a credibility interval – a measure of precision – of four percentage points.
Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler