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The state of the union is divided, troubled and deteriorating

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds that the state of the union is divided, troubled and deteriorating. Those were the top answers given when respondents were asked which one or two words best describe the current state of the nation:

  1. Divided – 37 percent
  2. Troubled – 23 percent
  3. Deteriorating – 21 percent

According to Mark Murray, Senior Political Editor for NBC News, the new poll also finds that 68 percent of Americans say the country is either stagnant or worse off since President Obama took office and “a deep pessimism continues to fuel the public’s mood.”

Most respondents used words like “divided,” “troubled,” and “deteriorating” to describe the current state of the nation:

“On the eve of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, more than six-in-10 Americans believe that the nation is headed in the wrong direction and 70 percent are dissatisfied with the economy.”

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. and Patrick O’Connor, only George W. Bush began his sixth year in the White House with poll numbers worse than Obama’s.

Obama wasn’t able to achieve much progress on his calls in last year’s State of the Union for  gun control, and legislation to deal with climate change and raise the minimum wage. Chris Wallace took Dan Pfeiffer to task about this on Fox News Sunday:

PFEIFFER: Well, I think what you’re going to hear from the president on Tuesday night is a series of concrete, practical, specific proposals on how we restore opportunity, through a wide set of means — job training, education, manufacturing, energy. These will be some legislative proposals, but also a number of actions he can take on his own.

WALLACE: All right. I want to pick up on that, because as we say, this is a familiar theme for the president. He talked about it a lot the last two years. Let’s look at the Obama record, what he proposed and what happened to those ideas last year.

The president proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour — no progress. Creating a network of 15 manufacturing hubs — no progress. Universal preschool — nothing. Major tax reform — nothing.

Tell us about this memo that is in the papers today that you wrote, the president has apparently accepted to basically work around Congress more and to do more through executive action.

The president is expected to recycle many of those ideas in this year’s poll-driven speech. This is not uncommon for Obama. As can be seen in the following video, he recycles false promises and false hope in his State of the Union speeches.

In his article, Murray points out that a number of the issues Obama is expected to raise in the State of the Union address poll well:

  • Sixty-three percent support ensuring all children have access to preschool education;
  • Fifty-nine percent support closing tax loopholes benefiting corporations;
  • Fifty-one percent support increasing the minimum wage.
  • Fifty-four percent support fixing ObamaCare, but 48 percent still consider ObamaCare a bad idea.

As Scott Wilson, chief White House correspondent for the Washington Post, put it, “Last year began with the fresh-start ambitions of his [Obama's] second inauguration but ended in a long trail of mistakes, international embarrassments and missed legislative opportunities that sapped Obama’s credibility with the public.”

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