Obama should focus SOTU on economy, voters tell pollster

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President Barack Obama should focus on the economy in his State of the Union Address, 35 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.  Another 20 percent say the federal deficit is the top priority, with 15 percent citing gun policy and 12 percent listing health care.

The U.S. economy is in a recession 53 percent of voters tell the independent Quinnipiac University poll.  A total of 79 percent of voters describe the economy as “not so good” or “poor” and only 34 percent say it’s getting better, while 28 percent say it’s getting worse and 37 percent say it’s staying about the same.

By a 47 – 41 percent margin, American voters trust President Barack Obama more than Republicans in Congress to handle the economy.  Trust measures on other issues are:

  • 44 percent trust Obama to handle the deficit, compared to 42 percent for Republicans;
  • 48 – 40 percent trust Obama more on health care;
  • 45 percent trust Obama on gun policy while 43 percent trust Republicans;
  • 46 – 41 percent trust Obama more on immigration;
  • 55 – 31 percent trust Obama more on the environment;
  • 51 – 37 percent trust Obama more on foreign policy.

“It’s not a majority, but 35 percent of American voters want President Barack Obama to focus on the economy in his State of the Union Address tomorrow night” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Voters trust President Obama more than Congressional Republicans on the economy and most other issues, but they are more closely divided on who would do a better job on the deficit and on gun-control.   And by 48 – 39 percent, voters trust Republicans in Congress more than Obama to cut federal spending.”

Congress should prevent the $1.2 trillion cuts in defense and domestic spending due to take effect March 1, 43 percent of voters say, while 22 percent say let the cuts happen.  Another 32 percent have no opinion.

A total of 66 percent of American voters say they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to watch the State of the Union Address.  That includes 46 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of independent voters.  Women say they are more likely to watch than men, 71 – 59 percent.

Marco Rubio, selected to give the Republican response to the State of the Union address, has a 27 – 15 percent favorability rating among American voters, with 57 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. “Let’s see if Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s supporting actor role Tuesday night moves the needle on his favorability meter among voters,” Brown said.             

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.