Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

With State of the Union Approaching, Four in Five Americans Give the State of the Country Negative Ratings

Over half of Americans want to see economy addressed in State of the Union

NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While many in Washington, D.C. are spending this weekend trying to stay warm or maybe still digging out from the snow earlier in the week, President Obama and his staff are getting ready for next week's State of the Union address. This address comes as just one in five Americans (20%) rate the current state of the country positively while four in five (80%) give it negative ratings. And, while it's not surprising that 92% of Republicans give the state of the country negative marks, so do 83% of Independents and a full two-third (67%) of Democrats.

(Logo: )

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,047 adults surveyed online between January 17 and 21, 2014 by Harris Interactive. (Full findings, including data tables and comprehensive breakdowns by political party, available here)

Looking at Specific Issues 
As the President lays out his agenda for the upcoming year and stresses the issues he would like Congress to undertake, it's interesting to note how Americans feel a number of issues are going in the country. On six specific issues, strong majorities give negative marks. Three in five (61%) U.S. adults give negative ratings for the overall state of the environment in the U.S., while two-thirds (67%) give negative ratings for how the country is doing on education and seven in ten (71%) give negative national ratings for healthcare. Three-quarters of Americans give negative ratings for how well the economy (74%) and immigration (75%) are doing, with almost four in five (78%) saying the same for jobs.

When it comes to the topics that should be addressed in the State of the Union, three definitely rise to the top. Over half of Americans (56%) say that President Obama should address the economy, while two in five each say he should address jobs (43%) and healthcare (38%). Less than one in five believe immigration (18%), education (17%) and gun control (14%) should be addressed, while just one in ten (9%) say the environment should be addressed in the State of the Union.

Thoughts on the President 
January is not only State of the Union time; it's also the beginning of a new year - the 6th of President Obama's time in the White House - and the past year has not been an easy one for him. Looking at 12 statements, six more positive and 6 more negative, about the President, it's clear that the past year has taken its toll on how people view him.

Looking at the positive statements, each of these has fewer Americans who agree with them this year than last January when President Obama was getting ready to be sworn in for his second term. 

  • 55% agree President Obama is trying to bring about much needed change, down from 59% last year;
  • Just under half (49%) agree he is open, honest and trustworthy, down from 55%;
  • 49% agree President Obama is working for the people's best interests and doing the right thing, down from 54%;
  • Under half of Americans (48%) agree he deserved his re-election, down from 54% right after he was re-elected;
  • 47% agree the President does a good job of explaining issues to people like me, down from 54%; and,
  • Two in five U.S. adults (42%) agree he has made other countries feel better about the United States, down from 49%.

Looking at some of the more negative statements, some have gone up over the past year, while others have stayed flat and others still have decreased.

  • Three in five Americans (60%) agree President Obama spends too much time talking and there isn't enough action, up from 54% who agreed with this statement last year;
  • 56% agree he hasn't done much for us yet, up from 48% last year;
  • Just over half of U.S. adults (54%) agree that the President is spending too much and creating too much debt, same as last year;
  • Half of Americans (50%) say he is not changing things fast enough, down from 56% last year;
  • 45% agree President Obama doesn't care about people like them, up from 40%; and
  • One-third of Americans (34%) agree he is changing things too fast, up from 23% last year.

So, as President Obama takes to the Speaker's podium in the House of Representatives, all eyes will be on him to see how he handles these issues. Or will they? Less than three in ten Americans (28%) say they will watch the State of the Union address this year and two in five (40%) say maybe they'll watch; one-third (32%) will not be watching.

To see other recent Harris Polls and to see these results broken down by political party, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between January 17 and 21, 2014 among 2,047 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll® #9, January 24, 2014 
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive 
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

Press Contacts: 
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive 
[email protected] 

SOURCE Harris Interactive

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud wit...
While testing is often ignored when it comes to DevOps - it could be the most important aspect of achieving true DevOps success. Without rethinking automated testing from the ground-up, the entire DevOps productivity gain cannot be realized. Large tech companies build their own rapid test automation that runs in minutes across functional, performance, security and other tests. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance, will discuss how we learn from these real-world succe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...
Interested in leveraging automation technologies and a cloud architecture to make developers more productive? Learn how PaaS can benefit your organization to help you streamline your application development, allow you to use existing infrastructure and improve operational efficiencies. Begin charting your path to PaaS with OpenShift Enterprise.
“All our customers are looking at the cloud ecosystem as an important part of their overall product strategy. Some see it evolve as a multi-cloud / hybrid cloud strategy, while others are embracing all forms of cloud offerings like PaaS, IaaS and SaaS in their solutions,” noted Suhas Joshi, Vice President – Technology, at Harbinger Group, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Agema Systems will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Agema Systems is the leading provider of critical white-box rack solutions to data centers through the major integrators and value added distribution channels.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
DevOps is gaining traction in the federal government – and for good reasons. Heightened user expectations are pushing IT organizations to accelerate application development and support more innovation. At the same time, budgetary constraints require that agencies find ways to decrease the cost of developing, maintaining, and running applications. IT now faces a daunting task: do more and react faster than ever before – all with fewer resources.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Key Information Systems is a leading regional systems integrator with world-class compute, storage and networking solutions and professional services for the most advanced softwa...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.