President Obama’s third State of the Union address is set to take place tonight, Tuesday January 24 and he will likely use it to get part of his campaign 2012 message out. According to CNN, the address will describe a “blueprint” for an economy that will endure and last. It will focus on manufacturing, education, energy and middle-class values. However, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked American’s what they thought the top priority should be.
The poll results that were released Monday revealed that most Americans cite strengthening the economy as their top priority for 2012 and the majority of American’s want the president to focus on domestic issues rather than foreign. Let’s take a look at the numbers, though. According to Politico, 86 percent of those that took the poll said the economy is the top priority and 82 percent said that the employment situation, or lack of employment, should be the governments and leading politicians first and foremost concern. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, seeing as though the economy and job market have both been struggling the past couple of years. There are signs that show it is slightly improving, but to recover 100 percent, or anywhere near 100 percent, there needs to be a lot more work put in by both the government and Americans alike.
The poll also showed that 69 percent of American’s feel that protecting the United States from terrorism and reducing the budget deficit are top priorities. Illegal immigration has less of a priority among Americans with only 39 percent saying that it is a top issue. Just back in 2007, 55 percent of Americans said this was a top priority and in 2011 it was 46 percent. Clearly, as more economic and job market issues inch their way forward, immigration frustrations sit on the back burner of American’s priority list.
In addition to what American’s deem as priority, the poll revealed what countries many feel are a threat to the U.S. According to the poll and the opinions of Americans, Iran is our top danger with China right behind it. If Obama’s goal is to satisfy Americans and reel them in with his third State of the Union address, it is important that he cover most of what was mentioned above. After all, it is what Americans want and they are the ones voting come November.
The poll interviewed 1,502 adults Jan. 11-16. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.