U.S. President Barack Obama arrives on stage to speak on new proposals for higher education accessibility at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee on Jan. 9, 2015.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Poll: How Americans describe the state of the union

Updated

Asked which one or two words best describe the current state of the union before President Obama’s address Tuesday night, the top responses are “divided” (40%), followed by “recovering” (23%), “troubled” (19%), and “deteriorating” (19%), according to a new NBC/WSJ poll.

“45% of Americans say President Obama has been too stubborn in his dealings with congressional Republicans.”
Mark Murray, NBC News
When we asked this same question a year ago, “divided” (37%) and “troubled” (23%) were the top responses, while “recovering” was third (19%).

Also in the same poll, 45% of Americans say President Obama has been too stubborn in his dealings with congressional Republicans – which is up 20 points since we first asked this question at the beginning of Obama’s presidency (April 2009). Thirty percent say he’s struck the right balance, and 16% say he’s too willing to compromise.

By comparison, 55% of Americans say congressional Republicans are too stubborn in dealing with Obama – which is unchanged from 2009. Twenty-four percent say they’re too willing to compromise, and 15% say they’ve struck the right balance. 

The poll was conducted Jan. 14-17, and the margin of error on these questions is plus-minus 4.9 percentage points.

The rest of the NBC/WSJ poll will be released on Tuesday.

State of the Union

Poll: How Americans describe the state of the union

Updated