Thursday, January 28, 2010

How is the SOTU Polling

Voter Views on State-of-the-Union Points
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

During his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama touched on a number of topics that Rasmussen Reports has current polling data on measuring the attitudes of the American people.
In his speech, for example, the president called for taxing banks to repay bailouts. Most Americans like the general idea of a tax on large banks to help repay the bailout money. Voters think that only banks that received the bailout should pay the tax though, and 72% believe that other financial institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should also pay the tax.
The president presented the $787-billion economic stimulus package as a success story. However, just 35% of voters believe the stimulus plan has helped the economy, while 31% believe it hurt. At this time, 39% are concerned the government will do too little to deal with the economy while 49% fear it will do too much.
Obama said the unpopular bailouts saved the economy. He’s right that they’re unpopular. By a two-to-one margin, voters still believe they were a bad idea. Voters are evenly divided as to whether they helped or hurt the economy in the short-term. However, voters overwhelmingly believe the bailouts are bad for the long-term health of the economy.
The president spoke about small business issues at a time when just 29% of small business owners say conditions for their businesses are getting better. That’s up seven points from a month ago, but 43% still say conditions for their business are getting worse.
On the housing front, just 55% now say buying a home is the best investment a family can make. That’s down from 79% in 2008. The public was way ahead of Treasury officials on dealing with the reality of the mortgage crisis
The president asked Congress to counter the recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance. However, public reaction is mixed: 26% agree with the decision, 34% oppose it, and 41% are not sure. Sixty-five percent (65%) also say corporations and unions should be allowed to buy ads to let people know how politicians voted on issues.
Voters still say deficit reduction is the most important priority laid out by the president last February. They also believe it is the presidential priority least likely to be achieved.
The president referenced the Congressional Budget Office analysis that suggested his health care plan would reduce the deficit. However, most Americans don’t believe the numbers. Voters overwhelmingly think the plan's costs will be higher than projected, and 81% say passage of the plan will likely lead to higher middle class taxes. Sixty-eight percent (68%) say it will increase the deficit
Most voters continue to oppose the proposed health care plan.
Sixty-one percent (61%) now want Congress to drop health care and focus on jobs.
On Afghanistan, the president reaffirmed the strategy he outlined a couple of months ago. Most voters agree with his plan to send more troops in, and a slightly smaller number support his plan to begin withdrawal in 2011. However, few agree with both aspects of the plan.
On Haiti, 74% of voters say the government response has been good or excellent.
Obama said he has cut taxes for 95% of Americans, but nearly half the nation’s voters expect their taxes will go up during the Obama years. Hardly anybody expects their taxes to be cut.
Americans strongly believe that cutting taxes is the best way to create jobs. However, few expect the nation’s elected politicians to follow that route.
The president said he has never been more hopeful about the nation’s future. However, a solid plurality of voters believe that the nation’s best days have come and gone.

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