The state of our union: Politicians, businesses, and foreign threats
AEI Political Report, February 2013

White House/Pete Souza

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011.

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As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday, AEI’s new Political Report compares views about the president, the economy, and business today with those in early 2009.  

Key Points

The president’s standing is solid, but approval ratings of the nation’s economy, big business, banks, and Wall Street are anemic. Dissatisfaction with government is at Watergate-era levels.

• Satisfaction with the state of the economy is at 27 percent, up from 10 percent in 2009.

• Confidence in big business, banks, and Wall Street remains low, although generally positive views about capitalism have not changed in the wake of the financial crisis.

On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, we examine 20 years of attitudes about US involvement there and gauge broader views about American military affairs abroad.

• In January 2013, 55 percent called the war in Iraq a success. But only 28 percent said it has reduced the threat of terrorism, and 70 percent said it worsened relations with the Muslim world.

• Six in ten still say it is best for the United States to take an active role in foreign affairs; 38 percent say it is best if we stay out. 

• In 1980, 68 percent of Americans opposed women in combat. In 1992, when a presidential commission considered the issue, opinion was divided. Today, the public is strongly in favor. 

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About the Author

 

Karlyn
Bowman
  • Karlyn Bowman compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, NAFTA and free trade, the war in Iraq, and women's attitudes. In addition, Ms. Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics because of key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the United States and writes a weekly column for Forbes.com.
  • Phone: 2028625910
    Email: kbowman@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Andrew Rugg
    Phone: 2028625917
    Email: andrew.rugg@aei.org

 

Andrew
Rugg

 

Jennifer K.
Marsico
  • Jennifer K. Marsico is a senior research associate at AEI, working in the Political Corner. Her research focuses on elections and election reform, as well as government continuity issues. She is a visiting fellow at the Independent Women's Forum. She is also a contributor to the AEIdeas blog, and has also written for many outside print and online publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Roll Call. Ms. Marsico serves as assistant director of the AEI-Brookings Continuity of Government Commission, and has contributed to recent studies on Supreme Court continuity, voter registration modernization, and civic participation in the digital age.

  • Phone: 202.862.5899
    Email: jennifer.marsico@aei.org

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