As President Biden is set to make his first formal State of the Union address Tuesday night, he and the country are facing pressing issues, from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to inflation and the continuing pandemic.
It also comes at a time when Biden’s political capital is at the lowest point of his presidency with his worst approval ratings on a host of issues and a majority of the country saying his first year in office was a failure.
1. The Ukraine crisis
It’s tough to know the political impact of Russia’s invasion. Americans are war-weary and many in the country have shifted to a more populist, inward-looking stance.
But the invasion is hard to avoid. It’s all over cable TV 24/7, and it has galvanized NATO allies and the world’s attention in ways that haven’t happened for years.
2. Inflation rises as a concern
For as much attention as there is on Ukraine right now, make no mistake that pocketbook issues are front of mind for voters.
Those potentially higher gas prices could take a further bite out of Biden’s standing — and surveys have shown inflation topping Americans’ concerns.
3. The ongoing pandemic
Another issue a president has little control over is whether the world is truly moving on from the coronavirus pandemic, which is tied to inflation.