What is the state of our union…?
When I asked people for an explanation, I got some harsh assessments. They chose ‘divided’ the most, followed by ‘decline’ and ‘weak’. Few chose the adjective “strong.” Or, few chose the adjective “thriving” amid harsh economic assessments.
These are not just one-sided partisan points. The partisans share a sense of division and decline rather than prosperity. It is, in part, a function of the current economy and such a dire view of inflation.
All in all, it’s a tough environment for a president to address Congress and the country.
What do people want to hear tonight?
It’s no surprise it’s the economy and inflation. Lowering the latter is a top priority for so many. Beyond those two issues, the immigration issue is particularly important to Republicans planning to watch, and Democrats are interested in hearing about racism and climate change.
This desire Most Americans still rate the economy badPresident Joe Biden is making the speech amid the country’s undisclosed low economic valuation since it recovered from the Great Recession. To this point in his term, he has never seen a majority of Americans say the economy is good. It happened under the former president.
But Mr. Biden will be confronted by friendly TV viewers. Most people who say they are very likely to watch already acknowledge his work.
This is typical of recent presidents. When Trump took office, it was the opposite. These days, partisan supporters, whether Democrats or Republicans, are usually more likely to see their party’s president speak, while opponents often avoid it.
Biden impact — and his challenge tonight
Like any president, speaking to Congress is your chance to claim success, and President Biden seems compelling in that regard.
- Most Americans feel Biden’s policies are improving the economy, especially gas prices and inflation. bad than that Better.
- Looking at the Republican schism on this, one would expect political opponents to level this kind of criticism, and indeed Republicans do. good.
But COVID efforts get far better marks
Our efforts against COVID-19 have reached a record ‘good’ rating. Here, Biden’s policies are rated as having a net positive effect.
it’s not a trifle Given that it helped elect him in the first placeBut in politics, mitigating a problem can often mean it’s off the public’s radar screen, and right now people’s priority is inflation.
In the larger context, the public often derives this kind of evaluation from perceived outcomes. So part of it is driven by policy preferences, but it’s also probably a function of their continued view that the economy is bad and the pandemic situation has improved. .
In the world
On the foreign policy front, there is virtually majority approval to send both aid and arms to Ukraine, as well as to maintain economic sanctions against Russia, all of which the administration has pursued.
handling This sits amidst Biden’s relatively good approval ratings — although Republicans have yet to give him Personal Endorsement for it even though they support these specific actions in support of Ukraine.
But Biden gets lower marks for handling issues with China.
More broadly, he is seen (particularly by Republicans) as worsening, not improving, America’s position in the world.
Biden’s overall rating for descriptors like “ability” has been below 50% since 2021.
In a divided parliament, what do people think about the party’s stance? For Democrats, it’s Social Security and climate change. For Republicans, it’s economic policy and immigration policy. This is similar to her 2022 campaign, where the Republican Party was perceived to have the upper hand economically.
Immigration policy, on the other hand, presents the biggest negative gap of the tested issues for Democrats, with more people saying they disagree than they agree. And with the Republican Party’s perceived stance on LGBTQ issues, it gets the largest net-negative ratio, nearly doubling. Disagree than agree.
Looking Ahead: Democracy and the Future
As important as the economy is and was, the elections that produced this Congress depended on more than that.
The president often likes to say that America’s best days are yet to come.
Today, the sentiment turns out to be rare among people of his generation. Older people tend to think the country’s best days are past.
But young people are generally more positive, and most feel that either the present is the best or the future will be better.
This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted using a nationally representative sample of 2,030 US adult residents interviewed between February 1-4, 2023. Samples are from the US Census American Community Survey and Current Census, and the 2020 Presidential Election. The error is ±3.0 points.