CBS Poll – 80 Percent Found State Of The Union Speech Unifying
February 8, 2018
By John Steinberger | Contributing Writer
A CBS News poll conducted immediately after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday night believed that his message was unifying. The approval rating for the speech was polled at 75 percent and the most common descriptions of how the speech made them feel were “proud” and “safer.” The poll sample included 42 percent who identified as Republican, 25 percent Democrat and 33 percent independent.
Trump’s speech focused on the topics on a strong economy, improving infrastructure, reforming our immigration system and securing our borders, energy development and improving national security. The Democrat members of Congress mostly remained seated during the speech with frowns on their faces. Here are some highlights:
Economy. Trump touted the 310 corporations who have given employee bonus checks or pay raises to an estimated 3 million as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law before Christmas. He recognized welder Corey Adams, sitting in the gallery near First Lady Melania Trump, who used his bonus and pay raise to take out an education savings account for his two daughters. Adams’ employer, Staub Manufacturing Solutions, used the growing economy and improving sales as a rationale to hire 14 new workers. Trump also cites a surge in American energy production as a boost to the economy.
Among the businesses with local presences which have offered employee bonuses are AT&T, Bank of America, Best Buy, BB&T, FedEx, Home Depot and Walmart. The South Carolina Public Service Commission has asked for-profit utilities to pass their tax savings on to rate-payers. Employers recently received the updated withholding software, resulting in more take-home pay.
Infrastructure. “America is a nation of builders,” Trump said, noting the Empire State Building in New York City was built in just one year. He called the road permitting process “a disgrace” and noted that permitting typically takes 10 years before ground is broken and called for reducing the process to two years or less. Trump called for $1.5 Trillion in infrastructure spending over 10 years in partnership with states and the private sector. No infrastructure legislation has been proposed yet.
Immigration. Trump called for ending chain migration for the families of immigrants, legal and illegal, and going to a merit-based immigration system based on skills and English fluency. He also repeated the need to build 700 miles of border walls to reduce illegal border crossings and drug and human trafficking, a common refrain during his Presidential campaign. Trump recognized several family members of children who were murdered by the Central American gang MS-13 and repeated his commitment to deporting the criminal illegal aliens. Most Democrats in Congress did not applaud his remarks.
Energy production. After decades of debate, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been cleared for exploration. The land in northeast Alaska is about the size of the state of South Carolina, but through the use of horizontal piping, the drilling site will be about the size of the Charleston International Airport. It is expected to yield billions of barrels of oil. America is also setting up Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and will soon be exporting natural gas to Europe, which now depends on Russia for most of its supply. Trump referred to energy exportation as a national security issue.
National security. “I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria,” Trump said. He recognized several wounded veterans as well as active duty service member Ashlee Leppert, who performed dozens of helicopter rescues in Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts in Texas. He vowed to increase the services available to veterans and to modernize our military forces.
I don’t ever recall so much discussion about a State of the Union address. People I know who usually don’t pay attention to politics tuned in (the estimated audience was 48 million) and commented on it. People liked to tone of optimism and also liked the array of special guests who were recognized by the President.