- Following the State of the Union, more report hearing positive news about Biden.
- More Americans say Social Security and Medicare, guns, national security, and abortion are top four issues than did in late January.
- Americans continue to trust Biden and Democrats over Republicans on Social Security and Medicare, health care, gun violence, democracy, and racial issues.
- Most disapprove of how Republicans in Congress are handling their jobs, and a plurality disapprove of their behavior during the State of the Union.
Seven in Ten Report Engaging with State of the Union Address; Those Who Watched Had a More Positive Reaction
While Democrats and Republicans engaged more than independents, more Democrats watched live (37%) than Republicans (29%).
- Americans who report watching all or part of the speech live approve of what they heard by a 24-point margin.
Americans Approve of Biden’s Handling of the Surveillance Balloon; Less Approve Overall and on the Economy
Independents approve of Biden’s handling of the surveillance balloon by a double-digit margin (net +21 approve), but generally disapprove of his performance overall (net -39) and on the economy (net -45).
More Americans Report Hearing Positive News About Biden, Focusing on the SOTU, Surveillance Balloon, and Social Security
The share of Americans hearing “mostly positive” or an “equal mix of positive and negative” has increased from 40% two weeks ago to 50% now, including an 8-point increase among independents (from 37% to 45%).
Americans Place a Slightly Higher Priority on SS/Medicare, Guns, National Security, and Abortion After State of the Union
The share of Americans who rate Social Security and Medicare as a top-four issue increased by 4 points since late January (from 30% to 34%); similar shifts have taken place on guns (from 20% to 23%), national security/foreign policy (19% to 23%), and abortion (16% to 20%).
Democrats More Trusted on Social Security/Medicare, Health Care, Gun Violence, Racial Issues; GOP on Inflation and Crime
Independents trust Biden and Democrats more by double digits on both “reforming” and “protecting” Social Security and Medicare, gun violence, health care, and race relations.
- The Republican Party advantage on inflation has grown since mid-January (net +11 Republicans now, up from net +7).
Americans Say Biden Is Kind, Trying to Do What’s Best for the Country, and Values Hard Work
Majorities agree Biden “is kind and cares about people” (net +16 describes him well), “is trying to do what’s best for the country” (net +12), and “values hard work” (net +10); he fares worse on “brings stability to the country” and “is up to the job of President” (both net -8).
- Biden’s rating on each attribute tested in this survey outpaces his overall job approval rating.
Nearly Three in Five Disapprove of Republicans in Congress, With Negative Things Heard Focused on SS/Medicare, Biden
The share of independents who approve of Republicans in Congress has declined by a net 8 points since last month (net -50 approve now, down from net -42 in mid-January).
Almost Half of Americans Disapprove of Republicans’ “Childish” and “Disrespectful” Conduct During the State of the Union
By a 25-point margin, more independents disapprove (40%) than approve (15%) of Republicans’ behavior during Biden’s State of the Union address, and prevailing moments from the speech show Republicans as “childish,” “disrespectful,” and “unprofessional.”
About The Study
Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 998 registered voters from February 9-February 13, 2023. 99 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 74 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 99 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 99 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.