The State of the Union gets put under the Microscope

Last night’s State of the Union Address was the #Superbowl of the political world and we had multiple teams on the ground with voters (Republicans, Independents, Democrats) to rate their opinions on what they heard.

State of the union focus groups in Washington DC

With our technology in their hands, these groups watched and rated the President’s speech- and we captured the highs and lows.

Bipartisan Highlights

With all the talk about a divided nation, there were several quotes that received a unanimously favorable reaction:

America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom”

“They defend our flag abroad. And they are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters & police officers and border agents, medics, and marines. But above all else, they are Americans. And this capital, this city, this nation, belongs entirely to them.”

Other unanimously favorable topics: Rebuilding America’s infrastructure, reducing the cost of prescription drugs, and vocational job training.


One of the low points for Independents and Democrats was around the phrase: ending the war on “beautiful, clean coal.”

One of the lowest points for Republican respondents? During the immigration reform section of the speech, the phrase a “Path to citizenship” was not received well.  This was one of the few times during the night that the Republicans’ response dipped below 50% favorability–and dipped far below the Independents. (Note the drop off in the red line below).

Where did we note the biggest differences by political affiliation?

We noted some of the widest gaps were around social statements such as: …”why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.” This phrase in particular did not resonate well with Democrats (blue line) or Independents (green line).

One of our other focus groups last night was also documented by the USA Today. You can see that article here.