Friday, January 21, 2011
A sizable number of voters plan to follow President Obama’s State of the Union speech next Tuesday night but acknowledge that presidents generally don’t accomplish most of what they promise in their annual addresses to the nation.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 79% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are at least somewhat likely to watch or follow news reports about the president’s speech next week, with 53% who say they are Very Likely to do so. Only 18% say they are not very or not at all likely to watch or follow news reports about it. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Last year at this time, right before the president’s State of the Union speech, 82% of voters said they were following news reports about the speech at least somewhat closely, with 40% who were following Very Closely.
Female voters are more likely to follow Obama’s speech than male voters. Far more Democrats and voters not affiliated with either party say they are Very Likely to follow the speech than Republicans are. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the Political Class are Very Likely to watch the speech or follow news reports about it, compared to 46% of Mainstream voters.
Voters overall are narrowly divided when it comes to the significance of annual State of the Union addresses. Forty-four percent (44%) say they are important in terms of setting the nation’s political agenda for the coming year, but slightly more (47%) believe the speeches are mostly just for show.
Only 15% say presidents generally accomplish most of what they promise in their State of the Union speeches. Sixty-three percent (63%) say they do not. Another 23% are not sure.
The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on January 19-20, 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.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORBecome a member and get full access to all articles and polls starting at $4.95/month.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.