WASHINGTON : A record number of Americans believe the United States is more divided than united, according to a new poll that follows incidents of racial and political confrontation sparked off by Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.

A Gallup poll conducted November 9-13 found that 77 percent of Americans, a new high, believe the nation is divided on the most important values, while 21 percent believe it is united.

All major political subgroups of Americans share the view that the nation is divided, though Democrats are more likely to believe this than Republicans and independents, the poll found.

Americans are less optimistic about Trump bringing the country together compared to the last two presidents, Gallup said.

“Trump prepares to take office as a record number of Americans perceive the nation as divided and less than half believe his actions will help unite the country,” it added.

Large protests have erupted nationwide in response to Trump's election victory following a contentious presidential campaign involving the two of the least popular candidates in recent US history.

Trump won the US presidency despite extreme unpopularity among minorities, underscoring deep national divisions that have fuelled incidents of racial and political confrontation across the country.

The New York businessman was elected to the White House with 8 percent of the black vote, 28 percent of the Hispanic vote and 27 percent of the Asian-American vote, according to the Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll.

The racial polarization behind Trump’s victory over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has helped set the stage for tensions that have surfaced repeatedly since the election.

There has been a sharp spike in the number of hate crimes after the election, according to the FBI.

Hundreds of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes have also been documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks extremist movements.

Leftist and anarchist groups have called for their supporters to disrupt Trump’s inauguration ceremony on January 20.