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CBS News poll finds most Americans see "state of the union" as divided, but their economic outlook has been improving

State of the Union 2024: What to expect
What to expect from Biden's 2024 State of the Union speech 06:30

CBS News asked Americans over the past week, "If you could give the 'State of the Union,' which would you say describes the state of the country today?" 

We received some negative evaluations.

"Divided" was the answer picked by most, followed by "declining" and "weak." 

Fewer Americans picked "strong," "prospering" or "united."

Democrats and Republicans describe the country as "divided."

Republicans, who are especially critical of the way things are going in the country, generally — and of President Biden — are more likely than Democrats to choose "declining" and "weak."

And while Democrats are more upbeat about the way things are going, few describe the state of the country as "strong."


Overall, most Americans continue to say things are going badly in the U.S. today. 


Americans do tell us they would prefer to see the president speak more to the nation, rather than less. They will get their chance to see him tonight. 


 What might the president talk about? Here are some issues on the minds of Americans.

The economy: An uptick in positive views

Few Americans describe the country as "prospering," since most continue to rate the national economy badly. 

But 39% rate the economy as good.  

The percentage who say the economy is good is the highest it's been since the fall of 2021, and fewer are now expecting a recession than they were ahead of last year's State of the Union address. 


Immigration and the border

Another issue on the minds of the public is the border. Most Americans say the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is at least very serious, including nearly half who call it a crisis. 

Mr. Biden and congressional Republicans get negative marks for handling the situation along the border.


Views of the president

As Americans' views of the economy improve some, the president's approval rating on his handling has also improved a bit, but most still disapprove.

Mr. Biden's overall job approval rating has been fairly steady and hovering in the low 40s for roughly the last two years. It stands at 42% in our February poll.


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,159 U.S. adult residents interviewed between February 28-March 1, 2024. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±2.8  points. Some findings cited here are from a CBS News/YouGov survey conducted February 12-14, 2024.


cbsnews_20240303_SOTU by CBS News Politics on Scribd
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