If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Obama Ties Super Bowl in Battle for Voters’ Attention

It’s a tie game when you ask voters which they are more interested in watching – President Obama’s State of the Union speech tomorrow night or the upcoming Super Bowl.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters say they’d rather watch the State of the Union address, while 43% opt for the National Football League championship game. Ten percent (10%) aren’t interested in watching either one. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Not surprisingly, there is a partisan difference. Two-out-of-three Democrats (67%) put Obama's speech first. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republicans and a plurality (45%) of voters not affiliated with either political party are more interested in the Super Bowl. In recent years, the State-of-the-Union Address has generally been delivered to a partisan audience, with those in the president’s party far more likely to watch than others.

Earlier this year, 43 million viewers watched the New York Jets upset the New England Patriots in an AFC playoff game. The president attracted approximately 31 million viewers for his speech in Tucson following the shooting tragedy in that city. Last year, more than 100 million people watched the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. Approximately 48 million watched the State-of-the-Union speech in 2010.

Most Democrats believe the speech will be important for setting the nation’s agenda while most Republicans believe it is mostly for show.

As he prepares for the speech, President Obama’s Job Approval ratings have reached the highest level of the past year.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.  

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.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


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.