• Polling

Most Americans Who Watched At Least Part of President Biden’s State of the Union Were Positive to His Address

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 By Nora Lewis
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Poll: President Biden and the State of the Union

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on Americans’ reaction to President Biden’s State of the Union address, what Americans see as President Biden’s top priorities to focus on, and how Biden’s favorability and approval have shifted since the address. This follows a live-reaction dial group Navigator conducted in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area analyzing how soft partisans and independents responded to President Biden’s State of the Union address in real time, read the full report here.

About half of Americans report hearing positive news about President Biden, with much of it on his recent State of the Union address.


Seven in ten Americans engaged with President Biden’s State of the Union — whether watching all or part of it, or seeing news coverage about it afterwards —and a plurality of Americans who engaged with it had a positive reaction. 72 percent of Americans engaged with President Biden’s State of the Union address, including 34 percent of Americans watching at least part of the speech live (19 percent report watching all of it live; 15 percent report watching part of it live). Nearly half of Americans who watched had a positive reaction to the State of the Union (47 percent), but there were significant differences by level of engagement: nearly three in five of those who watched part or all of the speech live had a positive reaction (net +17; 58 percent positive – 41 percent negative) while those who only saw news coverage about the speech afterwards were slightly underwater in their reaction to the address (net -6; 37 percent positive – 43 percent negative). 

  • One in three Americans feel more positive about the economy (33 percent); a plurality of those who watched at least part of the address live were more positive about the economy (42 percent more positive – 25 percent more negative – 33 percent no impact) while half of those who only followed news about the address felt it had no impact on their perception of the economy (50 percent), with the other half evenly split (24 percent more positive – 26 percent more negative). 
  • Majorities across most racial demographics who engaged with the State of the Union had a positive reaction to the State of the Union, including Black Americans (net +44; 66 percent positive – 22 percent negative), Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (net +21; 54 percent positive – 33 percent negative), and Hispanic Americans (net +18; 52 percent positive – 34 percent negative); only white Americans were narrowly net negative toward Biden’s address (net -4; 43 percent positive – 47 percent negative). 
  • Two in three Americans had seen, heard, or read at least “some” about Biden’s State of the Union (67 percent), Including four in five Americans over the age of 55 (80 percent) compared to just half of Americans under the age of 35 (52 percent).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Three in Five Who Watched SOTU Live Were Positive, But Those Only Watching or Reading About It After Were Slightly Negative
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Two in Three Americans Have Heard About Biden’s State of the Union Address

President Biden and Democrats in Congress are seen as most focused on student loans, climate change, jobs, and abortion.


Across party lines, President Biden is seen as most focused on student loans (36 percent), climate change (32 percent), jobs and the economy (29 percent), and abortion (28 percent). Other top issues include national security and foreign policy (28 percent), immigration (23 percent), and democracy (22 percent). President Biden is more seen as focused on national secretary and foreign policy (net +10) and student loans (net +7) than Democrats in Congress, while Democrats in Congress are seen as more focused on abortion (net +10) and climate change and the environment (net +8) compared to President Biden. Democrats in Congress are seen as most focused on climate change and the environment (40 percent), abortion (38 percent), and guns (30 percent).

  • Independents believe Biden is most focused on student loans (40 percent), abortion (35 percent), national security and foreign policy (32 percent), and climate change (31 percent).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Biden Seen As Focused on Student Loans, Climate Change, Jobs, Abortion, Foreign Policy

Nearly half of Americans are hearing at least some positive news about President Biden, as his favorability has seen a slight uptick since last month.


48 percent of Americans are hearing at least some positive news about President Biden, with the positives mostly focused on his State of the Union address. Other positives Americans report hearing about Biden are about “the economy,” “student loans,” and “jobs.”

  • President Biden’s net favorability is up 7 points from last month (from net -21 to net -14; 42 percent favorable – 56 percent unfavorable). Biden’s overall approval rating as president stands at net -17 (40 percent approve – 57 percent disapprove). Among those who watched all or part of his State of the Union address live (a group that identifies as 8 points more Democratic than Republican), a majority approve of his job handling (net +6; 53 percent approve – 47 percent disapprove); among those who only read or watched news about his address afterward (a group that identifies as 5 points more Democratic than Republican), his approval rating is 21 points underwater (39 percent approve – 60 percent disapprove), and among those who did not engage with the State of the Union at all (a group that identifies as 7 points more Republican than Democratic), his approval rating is even deeper underwater (net -38; 28 percent approve – 66 percent disapprove).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: While Biden’s Approval Rating Rose Modestly Since Last Month, His Personal Popularity Saw Bigger Gains Post-SOTU
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Americans Are Hearing More Positives on Biden, Particularly Around the SOTU

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About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from March 7-March 11, 2024. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 75 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org