How important is Obama’s upcoming State of the Union?

SHARE How important is Obama’s upcoming State of the Union?

WASHINGTON–President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Wednesday, at 8 p.m. Chicago time, 9 p.m. eastern. A new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & The Pressasks people how important they view the speech.

From Pew: “The survey finds that 39% of the public thinks that Obama’s Jan. 27 State of the Union address will be more important than previous addresses, 45% say it will be about as important, and 9% say it will be less important. Obama’s upcoming State of the Union is viewed as more important than former President Bush’s last three State of the Union speeches. In January 2002, however, a higher percentage (54%) said Bush’s State of the Union would be more important than say that about Obama’s address today.”

As Barack Obama begins his second year in office, the public’s priorities for the president and Congress remain much as they were one year ago. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation continue to top the list. And, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, defending the country from future terrorist attacks also remains a top priority.

At the same time, the public has shifted the emphasis it assigns to two major policy issues: dealing with the nation’s energy problem and reducing the budget deficit. About half (49%) say that dealing with the nation’s energy problem should be a top priority, down from 60% a year ago. At the same time, there has been a modest rise in the percentage saying that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, from 53% to 60%.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 6-10 among 1,504 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, finds that 49% rate providing health insurance to the uninsured as a top priority. That is little changed from a year ago and off its high of 61% in January 2001. Notably, there is now a wider partisan gap in opinion about this issue than for any of the 21 issues included in the survey: 75% of Democrats rate providing health insurance to the uninsured as a top priority compared with just 26% of Republicans.

Just 28% say that dealing with global warming should be a top policy priority. While that is largely unchanged from 2009 (30%), it is the lowest measure for any issue tested in the survey. Since 2007, when the item was first included on the priorities list, dealing with global warming has consistently ranked at or near the bottom. About four-in-ten Democrats (43%) rate dealing with global warming as a top priority, compared with 25% of independents and just 11% of Republicans.

The survey finds that 39% of the public thinks that Obama’s Jan. 27 State of the Union address will be more important than previous addresses, 45% say it will be about as important, and 9% say it will be less important. Obama’s upcoming State of the Union is viewed as more important than former President Bush’s last three State of the Union speeches. In January 2002, however, a higher percentage (54%) said Bush’s State of the Union would be more important than say that about Obama’s address today.

For a direct link to the full report, go to http://people-press.org/report/584/policy-priorities-2010. The survey is for immediate release and is available on our website, http://people-press.org/.

The Latest
The high-stakes showdown — roughly a month ahead of the election — covered abortion, guns and crime; Pritzker’s handling of the pandemic, and the state’s financial ledgers. But the fast — and at times scattershot — pacing often left viewers without answers about where the candidates stood on those key issues.
Here’s how you can watch in person or from your couch, track a runner, plus tips on how to successfully maneuver around the city during the marathon Sunday.
The man, 18, was walking in the 4700 block of South Ashland Avenue about 9 p.m. Thursday when someone in a passing vehicle shot him, police said.
Tino Roane, 37, was shot about 12:40 a.m. Thursday during an argument in the 38100 block of North Loyola Avenue, the Lake County sheriff’s office said.