Joe Biden's Desire to Bring the Nation Together Remains an Uphill Battle

President Joe Biden's stated aim of unifying the nation continues to be a battle, with polling indicating Americans' doubts he can achieve this goal.

In his address on Thursday, Biden called for "national unity" in order to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

"And national unity isn't just how politics and politicians vote in Washington or what the loudest voices say on cable or online," he said.

"Unity is what we do together as fellow Americans."

While he persists with his aim of bringing Americans together, polling indicates public doubts over this possibility.

A Pew Research survey conducted March 1 to 7 asked 6,044 respondents how confident they are in Biden to bring the country closer together.

More than half, 52 percent, indicated doubts with 28 percent responding not at all and 24 percent stating they were "not too" confident he could.

Around a third, 33 percent, said somewhat and 15 percent said they were very confident.

Pew Research's polling also indicated a partisan split over approval of Biden.

While it showed his approval rating at 54 percent overall, among 6,011 respondents. Among Democrats, his approval rating was 84 percent, while among Republicans it was 14 percent.

A separate NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll conducted March 3 to 8 similarly showed a partisan split in his approval rating. Of all 1,227 U.S. adults asked, 49 percent said they approved of the job Biden is doing and 42 percent disapproved.

Split by party affiliation, 87 percent of Democrats asked approved compared to 11 percent of Republicans. The poll results were statistically significant within plus or minus 3.4 percent.

Polling has also shown the nation divided down party lines on other points, such as approval of Congress.

After Biden's speech on Thursday, his comments were swiftly called into question by Republican lawmakers, who pointed to COVID-19 relief having been passed without there support. Questions were frequently raised by the GOP over this being done in a partisan manner, with Democrats having moved their plans through using reconciliation.

Biden's comments continue a theme in calling for unity.

He did so throughout his election campaign and subsequently in speeches after winning the presidency.

He urged Americans to "give each other a chance," and not to treat each other as enemies after being declared the president-elect in November.

In his inauguration speech, he similarly called for people to come together.

Biden said to overcome challenges in the nation "requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity."

"With unity, we can do great things, important things," he said.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

joe biden address from the east room
President Joe Biden speaks as he gives a primetime address to the nation from the East Room of the White House March 11, 2021 in Washington, D.C. He reiterated his calls for unity across the nation in his speech. Alex Wong/Getty Images