Morning Consult poll shows ISIS the top issue for State of the Union

posted at 8:41 am on January 12, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Later this evening, Barack Obama will deliver the final State of the Union address of his presidency. Those who endure it should expect to hear plenty about climate change, poverty, and gun violence, but those turn out to be among the lowest priorities for registered voters. According to a new poll from Morning Consult, more than a quarter of respondents put the war against ISIS as their top priority:

Americans believe combatting the Islamic State is the most important topic for President Obama to address in his State of the Union speech, according to a new Morning Consult poll. Twenty-six percent say it should be the top issue Obama discusses in his last State of the Union address, followed by “improving the U.S. economy” and “providing clear direction and leadership for the country.”

The poll, which surveyed registered voters’ State of the Union expectations and interest levels, also finds just seven percent of respondents believe “reducing gun violence” is the most important issue. Only two percent believe that “reducing global poverty” is the most important issue.

“Reducing gun violence” comes in tied for a distant fourth on the list with reducing costs in health care. It’s not the lowest priority, but it’s much closer to bottom than it is even to the third-place 13% for “clear direction and leadership.” Climate change, which will undoubtedly get plenty of airtime after the Paris accord, barely avoids scraping bottom at 3%. This changes a bit when voters ask about voting priorities, in part because Morning Consult changes the nomenclature, but economic issues (32%) and security issues (27%) dominate. There is no clear category for gun violence, but energy issues — where climate change would likely fall — only gets 4%.

Even when asked separately and respondents can emphasize more than one issue for tonight’s SOTU, the gaps between issues still becomes apparent. On ISIS, jobs, and leadership, more than six in ten consider those issues to be very important for discussion in the SOTU. Health care gets a slim majority at 51%. “Reducing gun violence” only gets 42%, and climate change gets a wan 30%. Reducing poverty in the US actually scores slightly better than both at 47%.

The emphasis on low-priority issues may be part of the reason why Obama and Democrats are increasingly at odds over Obama’s agenda. The Hill reports that the friction has intensified as the SOTU address approaches:

But recent clashes between liberals and the White House over high-profile issues as diverse as trade, Iran sanctions and deportations invite a different dynamic to this year’s speech, where Obama is expected to defend those policies as part of a concerted push to wrap up loose ends and burnish his legacy in the twilight of his presidency.

A former Democratic leadership aide said the prominence of those issues — combined with the vocal opposition from Obama’s own liberal base — puts the president in a tougher spot this year than in speeches past.

“There has been tension from the very beginning,” the former aide said. “But it’s pretty pronounced right now.”

For Democrats, the timing is not ideal. Party leaders want to forge a united front in a presidential election year when they’re trying to mold an image as the party of shared values fighting for American workers and families in the face of an obstructionist GOP that prioritizes corporations and other well-heeled special interests.

Obama has largely done well in reconciling rifts with congressional Democrats, but the growing outcry over his Iran policy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the deportations of illegal immigrants highlights how his focus on legacy-building is conflicting at times with his party’s priorities.

Another reason for the friction might be Obama’s overall approval numbers. The Morning Consult poll puts it at 42/55. Only 18% “strongly approve,” while 40% “strongly disapprove.” Obama will begin his lame-duck final year tonight, and perhaps Democrats on Capitol Hill feel the danger of that most.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Obama acting against the will of the people? What else is new?

Rogue on January 12, 2016 at 8:44 AM

He’ll never mention ISIS. That is his brothers-in-arms.

dougmva on January 12, 2016 at 8:44 AM

…ISIS have guns?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 12, 2016 at 8:45 AM

…it’s not SOTU…it’s STFU!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 12, 2016 at 8:48 AM

Maybe Obama announces the cancellation of the elections…

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 8:49 AM

Disarming law-abiding Americans is his top priority.

ISIS are just JV.

Joe Mama on January 12, 2016 at 8:49 AM

Maybe Obama announces the cancellation of the elections…

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 8:49 AM

the GOPe’rs would cheer the loudest…

Rogue on January 12, 2016 at 8:51 AM

Obama is a shape shifting member of ISIS.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 12, 2016 at 8:51 AM

Disarming law-abiding Americans is his top priority.
ISIS are just JV.
Joe Mama on January 12, 2016 at 8:49 AM

Armed Americans threaten the Emperors Reign.

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 8:57 AM

Maybe Obama announces the cancellation of the elections…

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 8:49 AM

maybe my johnson is 14 inches long

Younggod on January 12, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Let the freak show commence.

Mr. Arrogant on January 12, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Morning Consult poll shows ISIS the top issue for State of the Union

Funny that. ISO is going to get short shrift in tonight’s show. Probably just a throw away mention as he points to the Syrian “refugee” whose situation and age is nowhere near the tens of thousands of young male “refugees” that Obama is demanding the nation accept.

In the meantime, today’s news has the fact that ISO punished those who let Ramadi fall by burning them alive and a Syrian “refugee” detonated himself in an Istanbul square.

Obama may claim that the empty seat is for the victims of gun violence (whatever the hell that means) but the reality is that the empty seat represents the one issue that Obama is not going to address during tonight’s spectacle.

Happy Nomad on January 12, 2016 at 9:03 AM

Let the freak show commence.

Mr. Arrogant on January 12, 2016 at 9:02 AM

If I wanted to watch a freak show, I’d tune into the Kardashians.

Happy Nomad on January 12, 2016 at 9:04 AM

If I wanted to watch a freak show, I’d tune into the Kardashians.

Happy Nomad on January 12, 2016 at 9:04 AM

At this rate, they might as well be running the country.

DAME EDNA JENNER 2016!!

CurtZHP on January 12, 2016 at 9:06 AM

Best thing King Barack could say is that he’s leaving early.

GarandFan on January 12, 2016 at 9:08 AM

Later this evening, Barack Obama will deliver the final State of the Union address of his presidency.

Sweeter words have not been written here at Hot Air!

Rovin on January 12, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Bubble Boy will announce his next job – Emperor for Life.

vnvet on January 12, 2016 at 9:10 AM

…me…me…me…my…my…my…I…I…I…hundreds of times…

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 12, 2016 at 9:11 AM

Obama is a shape shifting member of ISIS.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 12, 2016 at 8:51 AM

Point acknowledged, but to me he can’t get rid of the identifying uglies and foul stench any more than the Cleeentones can.

These are hard to miss regardless, and all point to a simple[ton] fascist, whatever his other murderously inclined “associations” might be.

RL on January 12, 2016 at 9:14 AM

the GOPe’rs would cheer the loudest…

Rogue on January 12, 2016 at 8:51 AM

No Constantine would cheer the loudest. You would hear it all the way from Kentucky.

Walter L. Newton on January 12, 2016 at 9:16 AM

Syria and Iraq need some common sense gun safety measures.

forest on January 12, 2016 at 9:17 AM

“combatting the Islamic State” — He doesn’t want to.
“improving the U.S. economy” — He doesn’t want to, and he wouldn’t know how even if he did want to.
“providing clear direction and leadership for the country.” — Leading is not his style.

Anyone hoping to hear about this stuff tonight will be disappointed.

juggler46 on January 12, 2016 at 9:18 AM

No Constantine would cheer the loudest. You would hear it all the way from Kentucky.

Walter L. Newton on January 12, 2016 at 9:16 AM

Being right does have that effect on people…

Rogue on January 12, 2016 at 9:19 AM

Later this evening, Barack Obama will deliver the final State of the Union address of his presidency.

One can only hope.

Cleombrotus on January 12, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Speaking of national security and ISIS, look who Obama just released from Gitmo:

Shamrani, now 40, has followed with interest the rise of the Islamic State, the militant group that controls much of Iraq and Syria, and indicated “possible plans to reengage in terrorist activity.”

forest on January 12, 2016 at 9:39 AM

He still thinks his only problem was the messaging:

Obama said if he had the chance to go back and advise an earlier version of himself, he would recommend that he “communicate constantly and with confidence” to the public because Americans have a consistent need to hear from their president.

“This place has a tendency to isolate you,” he said

Heading out to the golf course right after a beheading might do that to you champ. And I think if I hear him “explain” one more thing in the lecturer’s tone I will scream.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 12, 2016 at 9:47 AM

blah blah reducing gun violence blah blah sacrificing our children to the NRA blah blah blame Republicans blah blah made major progress on climate change in Paris which we vow to continue blah blah record number of jobs this month blah blah my administration’s low oil prices strengthen the middle class blah blah promise to continue our work to fight radical extremism blah blah robust economy blah blah blame Congressional obstruction and gridlock blah blah common sense gun regulations which are supported by 99% of gun owners blah blah some folks claim blah blah health care for millions who could not afford it before blah blah welcoming refugees in the best traditions of this great country blah blah blame Republicans
.

Did I miss any talking points?

Dolce Far Niente on January 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

State of his legacy speech tonight.

wifarmboy on January 12, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Did I miss any talking points?

Dolce Far Niente on January 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Pretty good, but you missed the multiple insertions of “I, me”, blah blah” that will dominate the Little Tramp’s rhetoric.

RL on January 12, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Obama’s state of the union speech a day of dread once more.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 12, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Nope. Guns. Then Syrian “refugees”.

Ward Cleaver on January 12, 2016 at 10:23 AM

blah blah reducing gun violence blah blah sacrificing our children to the NRA blah blah blame Republicans blah blah made major progress on climate change in Paris which we vow to continue blah blah record number of jobs this month blah blah my administration’s low oil prices strengthen the middle class blah blah promise to continue our work to fight radical extremism blah blah robust economy blah blah blame Congressional obstruction and gridlock blah blah common sense gun regulations which are supported by 99% of gun owners blah blah some folks claim blah blah health care for millions who could not afford it before blah blah welcoming refugees in the best traditions of this great country blah blah blame Republicans
.

Did I miss any talking points?

Dolce Far Niente on January 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Nailed it!

Ward Cleaver on January 12, 2016 at 10:25 AM

No Constantine would cheer the loudest. You would hear it all the way from Kentucky.
Walter L. Newto

No I pray to God that we get rid of him without it costing lives.

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 10:27 AM

Later this evening, Barack Obama will deliver the final State of the Union address of his presidency.
One can only hope.
Cleombrotus on January 12, 2016 at 9:25 AM

If we’re lucky. If we’re lucky…

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Being right does have that effect on people…
Rogue on January 12, 2016 at 9:19 AM

I don’t want to be right on this.

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 10:32 AM

State of his legacy speech tonight.
wifarmboy on January 12,

His legacy will be nuclear deaths for hundreds of thousands of Americans thanks to his Iran “deal”

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 10:41 AM

My blood pressure won’t allow me to watch. Nobama will be focused on his favorite subject – himself.

TarheelBen on January 12, 2016 at 10:42 AM

MONTAGE: 140 UNFULFILLED OBAMA PROMISES FROM PAST SOTU ADDRESSES

https://grabien.com/story.php?id=45618

Brat on January 12, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Obama will bask in his own limelight tonight.

I did this. I did that.

When in fact, the electorate will be looking forward.

The crux is – I did this and I did that – inevitably leads to “Yeah. We know. And look where we are now.”

That’s the rebuttal Haley needs to grab and the turn to “this is how the R president will do differently.”

Because in the end, people don’t care about Paris. Having a passing curiosity of TPP and the Iran deal (ME in general) scares the living bejeezus out them.

Steve_in_SoCal on January 12, 2016 at 11:17 AM

I don’t want to be right on this.

ConstantineXI on January 12, 2016 at 10:32 AM

You’d be like this

Rogue on January 12, 2016 at 11:21 AM

blah blah reducing gun violence blah blah sacrificing our children to the NRA blah blah blame Republicans blah blah made major progress on climate change in Paris which we vow to continue blah blah record number of jobs this month blah blah my administration’s low oil prices strengthen the middle class blah blah promise to continue our work to fight radical extremism blah blah robust economy blah blah blame Congressional obstruction and gridlock blah blah common sense gun regulations which are supported by 99% of gun owners blah blah some folks claim blah blah health care for millions who could not afford it before blah blah welcoming refugees in the best traditions of this great country blah blah blame Republicans
.

Did I miss any talking points?

Dolce Far Niente on January 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Allah Akbar

Pegcity on January 12, 2016 at 4:05 PM

MONTAGE: 140 UNFULFILLED OBAMA PROMISES FROM PAST SOTU ADDRESSES

https://grabien.com/story.php?id=45618

Brat on January 12, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Now THAT link is a work of art.

Missilengr on January 12, 2016 at 6:10 PM