State of the Union gets high marks from Ohio voters, says poll

Working class voters' reaction was 'extremely positive' to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, says Democratic pollster. Voters in Columbus, Ohio, participated in the survey.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama gestures while delivering his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.

Democratic pollster Geoff Garin conducted a focus group during last night’s State of the Union address with voters in Columbus, Ohio (a key swing state). The group was evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans/Independents - and, according to a memo by Garin, the overall reaction to the speech was extremely positive.

A few highlights from the memo: 

  • In a before-and-after test, the proportion of participants describing Obama as “a strong leader” rose from 39% to 71%.
  • Fully 78% said after the speech that Obama “looks out for the middle class,” up from 59% before the speech.
  • The share of participants who said Obama has good ideas for improving the economy rose from 39% before the speech to 79% after the speech.

Perhaps the most notable point, to Decoder’s mind, was this:

“Of particular interest in watching the dials during the speech were the number of points during which the President broke through with non-college-educated participants, who traditionally have been a skeptical and difficult audience for him. His discussion of jobs and economic fairness was especially effective with this group.”

Republicans are accusing Obama of “class warfare” - but in this particular focus group, the president’s theme of an economy that works for everyone seemed to resonate. In fact, ”only six of the 28 participants said Obama ‘went too far in dividing the country along economic lines and engaging in class warfare.’” If Obama can win over working-class whites in Columbus, Ohio - well, let’s just say that’s a pretty good sign for his reelection prospects.

Like your politics unscrambled? Check out DCDecoder.com

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.