State of the Union speeches don't 'move the needle much' on public opinion, says pollster

Pollster Robert Griffin said in an interview that aired Tuesday on "What America's Thinking" that State of the Union addresses tend to not have a large impact on changing voters' minds. 

"I think one of the things that always needs a little bit of myth-busting around the State of the Union is that there's going to be some 'West Wing'-style speech that's going to move the hearts and minds of not just the members of Congress, but of the entire American public," Griffin, research director at the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Monday. 

"But what we know from years of research is that's not how it works," he continued. "For the most part, when presidents intervene, they actually tend to polarize members of Congress, so trying to get votes from the other party is harder." 

"Out in the American public, it really doesn't move the needle much. There will be a period of time here, whatever Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE decides to bring up, where it'll be the case where the American public says 'oh this is a little bit more important than I thought it was,' but otherwise, we're not going to see a lot of hearts and minds changing," Griffin added. 

Trump is set to deliver his annual State of the Union address at the Capitol on Tuesday evening. 

The White House said last week that the theme of the State of the Union is "Choosing Greatness," and that the president will push for compromise on various key issues, including immigration and trade. 

Trump will deliver his address to a divided Congress for the first time in his presidency after Democrats recaptured the House in last year's midterms. 

— Julia Manchester