As President Obama delivers the State of the Union address Jan. 20, here's a primer of U.S. public opinion on top issues, the state of the nation and the country's political leaders.
Immigration continues to loom as a major issue in 2015, following President Obama's executive actions last year expanding the number of undocumented immigrants permitted to work and stay in the U.S. A roundup of facts about unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. and public opinion.
President Obama enters the seventh year of his presidency with a 47% approval rating, up five points since December. Meanwhile, the public’s views of the U.S. economy have steadily improved.
The healthcare industry, food and drink establishments and temp services have driven most of the jobs growth since Barack Obama took office nearly six years ago.
Some political observers predict that Obama will be using his veto pen a lot more in his last two years in office than he did in the first six. Recent history indicates that presidents do veto more bills when both houses of Congress are controlled by the opposing party.
Trade is shaping up as a major issue on the 2015 legislative agenda, with Congressional leaders and Obama suggesting bilateral cooperation on U.S. trade agendas. Indeed, a Pew Research Center survey suggests such bipartisan efforts also could find public support.
The new GOP-controlled Congress takes office at a time when the American public sees partisan rifts in the country getting worse.