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NBC/WSJ poll: Public says GOP less interested in unity than Obama is

With the automatic across-the-board spending cuts set to begin on Friday, Americans are split over whether President Barack Obama is emphasizing unifying the country or taking a partisan approach, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticizes President Barack Obama's handling of the looming budget cuts facing U.S. agencies.

But by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, respondents conclude that the Republican Party is emphasizing partisanship more than unity.

In the poll, 48 percent say Obama is pursuing a path to unify the country in a bipartisan way, while 43 percent say he's taking a partisan approach that doesn't unify the country.

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By comparison, 64 percent say the Republican Party is taking a partisan approach, versus 22 percent who say it's focused on unity.

As for the Democratic Party, a plurality of respondents -- by a 49 percent to 37 percent margin -- think it is emphasizing partisanship more than unity.

The full NBC/WSJ poll -- which was conducted Feb. 21-24 of 1,000 adults, and which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points -- comes out beginning at 6:30 pm ET.