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Voters Wary of State of the Union Spending Proposals

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

President Obama is expected to call for targeted new government spending for education, transportation and technological innovation in his State of the Union speech tonight, but voters are lukewarm to the idea. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the federal government spending more money in areas like education, transportation and technological innovation. Forty-five percent (45%) oppose additional government spending like this, while 15% more are not sure about it. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Two-out-of-three Democrats (67%) like the idea of more government spending – or “investment” as the president refers to it – in areas like education, transportation and technology. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans and 53% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties are opposed to this new spending.

Nearly half (47%) of all voters continue to believe that cutting federal spending will do more to help the economy than increasing federal spending in areas like education, transportation and technological innovation. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree and think increased spending in these areas will help the economy more. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure which course would be best.

But 51% of voters say new government programs to make the United States more competitive in the world economy will create more jobs than cutting federal spending. Thirty-eight percent (38%) believe cutting spending is a more likely job creator instead.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on January 23 - 24, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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