From the beginning of his candidacy, Biden has been promising a return to the era of political bipartisanship and compromise. But apart from the very real question of whether Republicans will actually work with him, there are signs that Americans as a whole aren't uniformly on board with the idea of dialing down the partisan animosity in Washington.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, Biden is coming into office with a decent amount of goodwill on his side: 64 percent of Americans approve of his conduct since the November election, 58 percent approve of the way he's explained his policies and plans, and 57 percent approve of his Cabinet choices.
That all seems promising for Biden. But when it comes to how they want the parties to work together, rank-and-file Republicans have a very different outlook than Democrats. It's Democrats, of course, who will hold a razor-thin majority in the Senate, giving them full control of government. But according to Pew, many Democrats (62 percent) still want Biden to work to forge compromises with Republicans, "even if it means disappointing some of his voters." Republicans, on the other hand, want their leaders to take a much more combative approach: A majority (59 percent) want their elected representatives to "stand up" to Biden.
That lopsidedness isn't as bad for Biden as it could be -- at least many members of his own party seem to be on board with the kind of bipartisan efforts he's promised. But as he takes office, Republican voters aren't exactly holding their leaders' feet to the fire when it comes to cross-party agreement -- and that could make the unity Biden's promised difficult to deliver.