SURVEY SAYS: Will (Did) You Watch the SOTU?

January 28, 2010 ( – Since those retirement initiatives looked to be on the agenda, this week I also asked readers if they were planning to tune in to watch the State of the Union address.

Well, I didn’t ask people WHY they were planning to tune in – or how they felt about the update – but the split in responses was interesting, to say the least.      

First off, 18.9% said they were planning to watch, while another 13.2% said they would watch – for awhile anyway.  Roughly 11.3% said they would be watching it “off and on.”      

“No” Ways

Contrast that with the 7.5% who responded “no”, 9.4% who said they planned to “catch up” today (ostensibly because they weren’t watching tonight – though, as one reader noted, “All of the time spent/wasted standing and clapping drives me crazy. I’ll wait to read about it in the news on Thursday.”), while 18.9% replied more emphatically (“Heck, no!”) that they would not be watching.        

About 7.5% weren’t sure if they would or not (in fairness, until 8:45 last night I wasn’t sure myself), and another 4.7% said that they couldn’t (“We have an out of town high school wrestling meet to watch.

It will be more exciting and I can catch the highlights of the president’s address on tomorrow’s news,” noted one, while another said “Normally I would watch, but I’ll be taking the Jeopardy! online contestant test tonight”).       

Of the remaining 17% – who opted for “other” as a response, the answer really seemed to be “no”, though for an interesting collection of reasons.

“Only if we can't find something else on TV”, noted one.  “Will listen on the radio,” commented another.      

“Hell no, there is a Heidi rerun on,” observed another.   

“This is one of this things husbands and wives should not do together. I'll be a good citizen and read the text. It's not just my husband's rants and editorials, but the stopping, clapping, cameras on the other party faces, talking heads, etc. My daughter and I will hide with the Disney Channel.”

“No, I gave up a long time ago that any President or other elected official would say anything other than what his/her party wanted to hear so that he/she could get reelected. Our political system will not save our country. We, the people will, if only we will recognize that and get busy, and if the politicians would just get out of the way or better, encourage us in that effort.”

“If I can find the time to put aside all the regulation reviews, compliance issues, and oodles of paperwork and reading that the government is creating, I may be able to sit down and have the pleasure (or not) of watching it. I may have to ask my husband, who is a very small business owner, for a synopsis. He's one of the lucky ones to be able to leave work at work. Hopefully he's paying attention to all this stuff to take action on, especially if the automatic IRA's go into effect as he doesn't offer a retirement plan. Otherwise, I'll be getting a call asking "what am I supposed to do?"      

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said they wouldn’t be tuning in because “…my friends at Plan Sponsor will let me know everything I need to know that might affect the employee benefits world.”      

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!