Americans are sold on the idea of bipartisan seating at the State of the Union address, a new poll finds.
Of those surveyed, 72 percent say that Democrats and Republicans should sit together during the president’s annual address Jan. 25, rather than in the traditional partisan arrangement, according to the new poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released Friday.
Another 22 percent said they would prefer the partisan seating, according to the survey, which included 1,014 adults between Jan. 14 to 16.
Members of Congress have called for decorum and civility since President Barack Obama’s speech in Tucson commemorating the dead and wounded in the shooting earlier this month. The bipartisan seating has cropped up as one way for members to demonstrate their commitment to the new mood on Capitol Hill.
The idea is catching on. Since Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) circulated a letter last week calling for bipartisan seating arrangements, his office reports 59 members of congress have signed on to the effort.
The initiative is undoubtedly more popular in the Senate, where 33 members have officially signed on to sit with members of the opposing party.
Today Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced that she will sit with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). Gillibrand, who represents one of the most liberal states in the country, and Thune, a potential candidate for president, are also known for being two of the most telegenic senators in the chamber.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, also announced Friday that he will sit with his home state colleague, newly elected Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, during the president’s address.
- Gillibrand Finds a SOTU Buddy (observer.com)
- Poll: Americans want bipartisan seating at State of the Union (thehill.com)
- Musical chairs: Gillibrand and Schumer nab seats with Republicans (timesunion.com)
- Illinois senators to sit together at State of the Union (thehill.com)
- Bipartisan seating gains more support (thehill.com)