Poll: 62 Percent Say SOTU Just for Show

Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 03:06 PM

By Lisa Barron

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President Barack Obama is likely to have the attention of a majority of American voters when he delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday, but they won't be waiting with baited breath for him to set out a concrete agenda, according to a new poll.

Although 72 percent of likely U.S. voters are said they will watch or follow news reports about tonight's speech, 62 percent of those surveyed by Rasmussen Reports said they view the State of the Union as just for show, up nine points from 53 percent a year ago when Obama delivered the first such speech after his reelection.

Just 28 percent of voters think State of the Union speeches are important in setting the course of the country's policies for the year ahead.

That may not be surprising given the fact that only 12 percent believe presidents accomplish most of what they promise in the speeches, according to the survey.

This year, Obama is expected to focus on rebuilding the economy and income inequality. Sixty-nine percent of voters agree that the issue is at least a serious problem today, while 45 percent consider it a very serious problem.

But a whopping 59 percent think that reducing the government's involvement in the economy would help to decrease income inequality, the poll found. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed rate the president's handling of economy-related issues as good or excellent, compared to 37 percent who say he is doing a poor job in the area.

Rasmussen's telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on Jan. 25-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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