The State Of The Union: Little Changed From A Year Ago

February 01, 2012, 6:00 PM GMT+0

President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union Address with many Americans dissatisfied with his performance in office and concerned about the country. Compared to public assessments at the times of his first two State of the Union addresses, the President finds his approval ratings stagnant, evaluations of the economy unchanging, and even more people thinking the country is off on the wrong track than in 2010 and 2011.

The latest Economist/YouGov Poll (Week of 1/21/2012), taken on the eve of the President’s speech, finds just 44% approving of the way the President is handling his job. 49% disapprove. 

Those ratings are not much different from what they were the two previous Januarys. 45% approved in January 2010, 46% in January 2011. In both those years, more people disapproved than approved. 

There has also been little change in assessment of his handling of the economy and the war in Iraq, the two issues that helped him win the Presidency in 2008. Little change, too when it comes to how Americans view the economy. Always the most important issues, more still say it is getting worse than think it is getting better. 

However, in the last year, the assessment of how the country is going overall has gotten getting worse. In January 2011, 52% said the country was on the wrong track, slightly fewer than thought so in January 2010. This year, six in ten describe the country as off on the wrong track. 

In his State of the Union speech, the president addresses Congress — an institution that fares decidedly worse than he does. In this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, just 10% approve of the way Congress is handling its job. 67% disapprove. 

Economist/YouGov poll archives can found here.

Photo source: Press Association

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