CBS News poll shows what viewers want to hear in Trump's State of the Union

/ CBS News

State of the Union may focus on "unity"

By Jennifer DePinto

President Trump is likely to deliver his State of the Union address to a friendly audience composed largely of his supporters. Historically, those in the president's own party have been more inclined to watch the address. In keeping with this trend, most of the potential viewers favor many of the president's policies, including his plans for immigration. Most want to hear him talk about building a border wall, although most indicate they want the president to strike a more unifying tone.

Americans who plan to tune in to the speech are more likely to be Republicans than Democrats or independents, and most consider themselves supporters of the president (56 percent) rather than opponents (25 percent). One in five say they are something in between.

Forty-two percent of those who plan to watch the speech identify as Republicans, compared to 25 percent of Americans overall.

Most of those planning to watch Tuesday's State of the Union address consider themselves Trump supporters. CBS News

While most who say they'll watch are supporters of Mr. Trump and his policies, 65 percent say the president should try to appeal to all Americans in Tuesday's address, even those who disagree with him. Only 35 percent think he should mostly stand up for his supporters and take on his critics.

trump-do-in-speech.png
Most of those planning on watching the State of the Union want the president to appeal to those who disagree. CBS News

Americans who plan to watch Mr. Trump's speech most want to hear the president talk about national security and the economy. Nine in 10 feel it's important for him to address these issues. Seven in 10 say it's important to hear from the president about working with Congressional Democrats. Health care also ranks as a high priority.

Important for you to hear about in president's speech
(Among those who plan to watch the speech)
National security & foreign policy 93%
Jobs & the economy 92%
Health care 80%
Working with Congressional Democrats 71%
Building a wall 70%
Preventing another gov't shutdown 70%
Climate change 42%
Russia investigation 37%

Roughly nine in 10 Republicans who plan to watch also want to hear about building a wall, while most Democrats who say they'll watch don't want to hear about that. A majority of Americans overall oppose a border wall, including most Democrats and independents. Republicans favor one.

Among those who plan to watch, majorities of both Republicans (65 percent) and Democrats (87 percent) do want to hear about preventing another government shutdown.

For most of those who plan to watch the speech, it's not as important for the president to address the issues of climate change and the Russia investigation, but most Democrats do want to hear about them.

A majority of prospective speech-watchers say the economy is in good shape — as does the public overall — and give the president at least some credit for that, but at the same time, most — 72 percent — describe the state of the union as divided, a sentiment both parties agree on.

The CBS News survey is based on 3,912 interviews of U.S. adults who plan to watch the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. The survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 9,322 U.S. residents interviewed online between Feb. 1 to 4, 2019.

Only those who plan to watch the address were included in the analysis. The initial sample of U.S. residents was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2016 presidential vote.

The margin of error is 2.0 percent.

First published on February 5, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

trump-supp-opp.png trump-do-in-speech.png

Trump to deliver State of the Union address — live updates

The speech comes a week after its scheduled night due to the partial government shutdown

updated 21M ago

Trump's first 4 trips to Mar-a-Lago cost $13.6 million, watchdog finds

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) analyzed four of the president's trips during his first months in office

updated 27M ago

Sandusky to be re-sentenced for child molestation conviction

Jerry Sandusky​ lost a bid for a new trial Tuesday, but a Pennsylvania appeals court ordered him to be re-sentenced for a 45-count child molestation conviction

updated 43M ago

Here's who's coming to the State of the Union address

Guests for this year's State of the Union include former Trump National Golf Club employees and formerly furloughed workers

1H ago

Several Patriots players plan to skip White House visit

While a formal invitation is still pending for the Patriots, a growing list of players on the team have declined ahead of time

updated 0M ago

Trump to deliver State of the Union address — live updates

The speech comes a week after its scheduled night due to the partial government shutdown

updated 21M ago

CBS News poll reveals what viewers want to hear in Trump's State of the Union

Americans who plan to tune in to the speech are more likely to be from the president's own party than either Democrats or independents

updated 12M ago

Trump's first 4 trips to Mar-a-Lago cost $13.6 million, watchdog finds

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) analyzed four of the president's trips during his first months in office

updated 27M ago

Here's who's coming to the State of the Union address

Guests for this year's State of the Union include former Trump National Golf Club employees and formerly furloughed workers

1H ago

Texas rep expects Trump to make case for a border wall at State of the Union

"We're going to keep working to secure the border, and not blink until we either get it done or the voters get to speak in 2020"

updated 57M ago

Dinosaur that used spiny back to defend itself found in Patagonia

The new species of dicraeosauridae, christened Bajadasaurus pronuspinax, was revealed in scientific journal Nature

1H ago

Liam Neeson says he's "not racist" after disturbing interview

Neeson, 66, joined ABC's "Good Morning America" to further explain his controversial comments

1H ago

How Venezuela's crisis could harm an entire generation of children

Former U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy says the world has a stake in helping kids weather this political crisis

2H ago

Trump to tap David Malpass to lead World Bank

Malpass has been an outspoken skeptic of the 189-nation World Bank, a leading source of funding for economic development

4H ago

Pope says priests' abuse of nuns went as far as "sexual slavery"

Catholic leader admits sexual abuse of nuns by clergy members is still a problem but insists, "we are working on it"

2H ago

Liam Neeson says he's "not racist" after disturbing interview

Neeson, 66, joined ABC's "Good Morning America" to further explain his controversial comments

1H ago

Steven Tyler opens "Janie's House" to help abused girls

The house is named after "Janie's Got A Gun," which is about an abused girl getting revenge on her father

2H ago

Angie Thomas' new novel is for kids who see themselves in hip-hop

Angie Thomas’ debut novel, “The Hate U Give,” just celebrated its 100th week on the New York Times best-seller list

2H ago

Andy Cohen welcomes baby boy via surrogate

Cohen's first child was born in Los Angeles on Monday evening

8H ago

Liam Neeson under fire for comments on race and revenge

Liam Neeson admits in an interview he once had violent thoughts about killing a black person after learning that someone close to him had been raped

8H ago

Dinosaur that used spiny back to defend itself found in Patagonia

The new species of dicraeosauridae, christened Bajadasaurus pronuspinax, was revealed in scientific journal Nature

1H ago

Facebook messenger rolls out unsend feature

After Facebook came under fire for letting Mark Zuckerberg alter message history, it gave all users an "unsend" option

1H ago

What happened when I asked Alexa and Google Assistant for my data

As smart home devices become increasingly popular, concerns about data collection aren't going away

5H ago

Crypto company out $137M after passwords die with owner

The founder's widow said "repeated and diligent searches" for a password have failed

18H ago

Tech investor says Facebook is "terrible for America"

"Zucked" author Roger McNamee says Facebook is a threat to democracy, public health and privacy, and makes everyone vulnerable to bad actors

Feb 4

Study reveals top reason people use medical marijuana

More than 30 states now allow marijuana for dozens of health problems if a doctor approves

updated 19M ago

7 steps for heart health may also help with diabetes

New research shows these lifestyle habits can significantly reduce the risk of both heart disease and diabetes

2H ago

Women's brains appear "years younger" than men's, study finds

New research offers clues as to why women tend to outlive men and stay mentally sharp longer

4H ago

Pot for pets? Cannabis products marketed for animals

Some animal lovers are giving the supplements a try, but experts caution they aren't necessarily a good fit for every pet

Feb 4

3rd poultry firm recalls chicken on fears of tainted goods

Pilgrim's Pride recall follows Tyson and Perdue moves to stop sales of food possibly tainted with extraneous material

Feb 4

How to avoid common financial mistakes

CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger provides practical advice that will help you become more financially savvy

2H ago

Sexual harassment rife in the legal profession

Many law firms remain an "old boys club," according to survey exploring job-seekers' work experiences

2H ago

Facebook messenger rolls out unsend feature

After Facebook came under fire for letting Mark Zuckerberg alter message history, it gave all users an "unsend" option

1H ago

Ban on foie gras in NYC restaurants proposed

Bill would have the Big Apple following California in outlawing delicacy that animal advocates say involves cruelty

5H ago

The state of the facts on U.S. economy, taxes and more

Solid economic growth gives President Trump something to brag about in State of the Union address, though clouds hover

7H ago

Sandusky to be re-sentenced for child molestation conviction

Jerry Sandusky​ lost a bid for a new trial Tuesday, but a Pennsylvania appeals court ordered him to be re-sentenced for a 45-count child molestation conviction

updated 43M ago

Nurse accused of assaulting patient pleads not guilty

Nathan Sutherland is accused of raping a patient at Hacienda HealthCare

3H ago

Va. state trooper, drug suspect shot to death during home search

Authorities say suspect fired at officers who entered a home to look for drugs, killing trooper, and officers then shot suspect

10H ago

Lawsuit alleges "inhumane" conditions in cold Brooklyn jail

A lawsuit filed Monday says a weeklong power failure at a federal jail in New York City caused "inhumane conditions" for inmates

21H ago

Judge lets church shooting victims sue gun retailer

Families of those killed in the 2017 massacre in Sutherland Springs argue Academy Sport & Outdoors is liable

22H ago