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Pew Study: Public Interest in State of the Union Address Varies by Politics

According to a Pew Research Center pole released Monday, 42% of Republican respondents don't think they will watch President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday. That compares to just 20% of Democrats.

Overall, 61% of respondents said they planned to watch the speech on TV or on the Internet.

Most respondents plan to park themselves in front of the former to check out the state of the country.  A majority (54%) said they would watch on TV, while only 7% said they would stream it online.

About eight out of ten respondents (81%) said the speech was as important (53%) or more important (28%) than previous State of the Union speeches, but that again varied when political party was a factor. As many Republicans thought it was less important (20%) as more important (20%), while 39% of Democrats thought it was more important and only 3% less important.

The importance placed on the speech did not appear to have anything to do with the Tucson shootings. The President is expected to address the issue of the tenor of political debate, but the interest level reported Monday is about the same as a poll taken largely before the shootings.

The telephone study was conducted Jan. 20-23 among a sample of 1,001 adults aged 18 and older.