States of the Union Before and After Bush

What a difference eight years can make—or not. Between the final days of the presidency of Bill Clinton and the current wrapping up of the administration of George W. Bush, many changes have occurred in the state of the nation's polity and economy. And yet, others things, most notably certain American beliefs and attitudes, have remained remarkably constant.

No question the overall mood of the public has changed a great deal since Bush was elected president in the fall of 2000. A mere 13% of Americans are now satisfied with the way things are going in the country, compared with 55% eight years ago. And while 61% applauded at Clinton's curtain call, only 24% approve of Bush's performance as he leaves the national stage. Still, the U.S. Congress, now controlled by Democrats, fares no better in public esteem: fewer than one in five now approve of its job performance, down from a 56%-majority that gave it the thumbs up in 2000.

Read the full report States of the Union Before and After Bush on the Pew Research Center's Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.