By a wide 17-point margin, Americans in union households say Democrats are more likely than Republicans to understand the economic problems people are having (43 to 26 percent).
Just over a third of those in union households in a new poll from The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health say President Obama's economic program is making things better, far from a majority, but a higher number than among non-union households.
Most Americans disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the federal budget deficit, but head-to-head against the Republicans in Congress, the president appears to be in better political shape than former president Bill Clinton was at the start of his year-long budget fight with the Republicans in 1995.
A growing number of Americans consider the accelerating trend toward globalization a bad thing for the United States. At the same time, a majority now see being the world's No. 1 economic power as an important national goal.
Two polls measured immediate reactions to President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night. A CNN/Opinion Research found 84 percent of speech-watchers reacted positively to his message, 52 percent very positively. A CBS News poll found 91 percent of watchers approve of the proposals the president made.
President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday offers an opportunity to focus the nation's attention on the policy priorities for the year ahead - but the public is already honed in on Topic A, the economy.
Evaluations of President Obama's handling of the shootings in Tucson are highly positive across the political spectrum, with nearly eight in 10 giving him high marks for his response to the incident. Even 71 percent of Republicans say they approve of his leadership following the shootings. But reactions to Sarah Palin's handling were more measured.