Americans’ expectations low ahead of Obama’s State of the Union

January 24, 2012

U.S. voters are looking to President Barack Obama to talk about jobs and the economy in his State of the Union address tonight, but doubt his ability to follow through on his proposals, two recent polls showed.

A survey done for the group Public Notice found that 62 percent of 805 likely voters said they were extremely or very interested in Obama’s speech tonight. The group describes itself as an independent non-profit focused on the economy and the role of government. Obama faces reelection in November amid a slowly improving U.S. economy.

Twenty-three percent said that jobs were the most important topic the president could talk about in his speech, while another 20 percent said the economy was the most important. Fourteen percent of respondents said government spending should be addressed, according to the poll.

USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken last week found a similar trend. The survey of 1,005 adults across the country showed more than half of those polled said they believed jobs and the economy were the most important topics for Obama to discuss.

The polls showed that though U.S. voters will watch the president’s speech carefully, they are skeptical of his ability to present and enact new solutions.

According to the Public Notice survey, 52 percent said Obama was likely to propose the same type of proposals as he has in the past. In the USA TODAY/Gallup poll, almost 70 percent predicted that few or none of his proposals could become law.

The survey conducted by Public Notice gave participants a list of topics from which to choose. Only 2 percent chose taxes as the most important issue, 6 percent said health care costs, and 5 percent said government reform. In the USA TODAY/Gallup poll, 4 percent of participants chose national security.

This video from Public Notice, a group that Factcheck.org has described as “Republican-leaning,” criticizes what it says are empty promises of past SOTU addresses by both Democrat and Republican presidents.

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