1/24: The State of the Union: Few Expect Change in Level of Confidence

As President Barack Obama prepares for tomorrow’s State of the Union address, most voters nationwide do not expect the speech to renew their confidence in the future of the country.  While more than three in ten voters believe the president’s speech will alter their view, nearly six in ten — 59% — say it will make no difference.  23% believe they will be more confident about the direction of the country following the speech, almost three times the proportion of those who think they will be less confident — 8% — after hearing the president speak.  11% are unsure.



“The address is not likely to change how most feel about the nation,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “But, by three to one, voters who are likely to think differently expect to be more positive.”

Along party lines, Democrats divide.  A plurality — 45% — say Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address will not impact how they feel about the direction of the country while 41% report they expect to be more confident following the address.  Not surprisingly, about two-thirds of Republicans — 66% — believe their level of certitude will be unchanged.  The same proportion of independents — 66% — share this view.

Among voters who approve of the president’s job performance, 39% say the president will inspire them about the state of the union.  However, even 49% of voters who approve of the president’s overall job performance report Obama will not add to their level of confidence about the direction of the country.  It’s little surprise that 68% of those who disapprove of how Obama is doing in office believe the address will not change their views.

Table: Impact of State of the Union Address

Marist Poll Methodology