Political Report, January 2012

Chuck Kennedy/White House

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

Political Report, January 2012

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In January's American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Political Report, senior fellow and public opinion expert Karlyn Bowman along with researchers Andrew Rugg and Jennifer Marsico examines American public opinion on a variety of topics now in the news:

Americans are feeling a little better about the nation’s economy. Still, 58 percent (down from 65 percent a year ago) say they know someone other than a family member who has lost a job in the past six months.

The proportion satisfied with the way things are going in the country is low (18 percent). So, too, is the proportion who believe the country is on the right track (39 percent).                

Americans are bullish on their personal fortunes despite misgivings about the country. Seventy-eight percent are optimistic about what the next year will bring for them and their families. Three-quarters say they are happy.  

More Americans call themselves conservative (40 percent) than moderate (35 percent) or liberal (21 percent). Politically, the country is split down the middle (45 percent say they are Democrats or lean to the party, and 45 percent Republicans).

Past presidents who sought reelection and won (Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and G.W. Bush) gave upbeat, forward-looking State of the Union addresses in their election years and had generally solid ratings.  

Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow, Jennifer Marsico is a senior research associate and Andrew Rugg is a research assistant at AEI

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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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