A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that 35 percent of 1,772 voters surveyed want President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address tomorrow to focus on the economy.
Another 20 percent say they are most interested in hearing him address the federal deficit, 15 percent say gun policy, and 12 percent say health care, according to the national poll.
Obama was widely criticized by Republicans for leaving out economic issues in his second inaugural address last month.
At least 53 percent of voters say the economy is still in a recession and 79 percent describe it as “not so good” or “poor.” But by a 47 to 41 percent margin, voters trust Obama more than Congressional Republicans to handle the economy. As far as the deficit is concerned, the poll found 44 percent trust Obama to handle it, compared to 42 percent for Republicans. And on gun control Obama 45 percent trust the president while 43 percent trust Republicans.
“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,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, said.
The next big battle in Washington will be over the $1.2 trillion Congress needs to cut in defense and domestic spending by March 1.
The poll found 43 percent of voters say Congress should take action to prevent the cuts, while 22 percent say let the cuts happen. About 32 percent of voters have no opinion.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was selected to give the Republican rebuttal to Obama’s speech. Rubio has a 27-15 percent favorability rating according poll, but 57 percent of voters didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
Pundits will be watching to see if the Cuban-American is able to score more points with the American public than Bobby Jindal did four years ago.
According to a number of news outlets, Jindal’s response fell flat with Democrats and Republicans alike.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted Jan. 30 through Feb. 4 and has a 2.3 percent margin of error. Voters were called both on landlines and cellphones.