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Politics

Swing Voters Focus Group: 2016 Vote Unchanged by Donald Trump's State of the Union Speech

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President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address did not impress a group of swing voters who gave his performance a low rating. Though these voters praised the president for his remarks on such topics as vocational education and paid family leave, they said they didn't find his speech particularly convincing. The voters were organized into focus group organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank.

Matthew Mielke, a business contractor from Washington, D.C., said Trump looked and sounded presidential––but that wasn't saying much. "But we always grade him on a weird curve," he acknowledged. "If he's not foaming at the mouth and screaming, we say he did a good job."

Mielke added that he found it odd that the president would include remarks about standing for the national anthem in a State of the Union address. "I want him to speak to the real issues, not just to people protesting a little bit," he said. "They have those rights. I liked it when he spoke about issues and not just about things that inflamed his base."

"You could tell someone else wrote his speech again," said Francis Marshall, a landscaper from Sterling, Virginia, who voted for Trump in the 2016 election and who voted for Barack Obama in elections prior. "It sounded political instead of him speaking the truth. If you don't like something just keep it real. Don't play politics. Speak your mind, and that way I know where you're coming from, like President Bush did. Bush told you what he was thinking. He stuck to his guns, and I appreciate that."

Lauren Price, a resident of Takoma Park, Maryland, said she liked how Trump sounded, but that she remains unconvinced that he'll deliver on his priorities. Like Matthew Mielke, she too felt the president's remarks on the national anthem were very out of place. "I have buyer's remorse," she said. "This man has no filter. No one can rein him in. And that wall? I'm not paying for it. You said Mexico was going to pay for it. Now we're all going to pay for it? He's going back on his word. He has been lying ever since he took the oath."


Rich Thau, the president of Engagious, the message testing firm that organized the group on behalf of the policy center, said the dozen voters in the focus group rated the speech "on the plus side of mediocre."

"There was not a single Trump voter who after watching that speech abandoned him and went for Hillary [Clinton]," Thau said. "And there were no Hillary voters who said I should have abandoned her and gone to him." Elsewhere, he noted that none of the voters were confident they'd see bipartisanship among Democrats and Republicans in the coming year. If the idea was to sell to them that there was going to be an outbreak of bipartisanship this year, the speech didn't clear that bar," Thau said.

Nor did the president's address fare well in a separate poll conducted by CNN.

The CNN Instant Poll found that 48 percent of the Americans who watched Trump's first State of the Union address said they had a "very positive" impression of the speech. The results are the lowest since 1998, when CNN first started asking the question. Of those surveyed, 22 percent said they had a "somewhat positive" reaction to the speech, while 28 percent said they had a "negative" reaction.

CNN notes that the poll "reflects the views of only those who watched the speech, not of all Americans" and that the poll "was conducted among a group of Americans who said in prior interviews that they planned to watch the speech and were willing to be contacted after its conclusion."

54 percent of those surveyed say they believe Trump has his priorities in check, although that number is lower than the 63 percent from a similar poll after his speech last year to a joint session of Congress. By contrast, 45 percent say they believe the president has not directed time and resources to the country's more significant problems. And while 62 percent say they believe Trumpian policies will move the United States in the right direction, more than 4 in 10 people said they are not confident Trump will be able to carry out his duties as president.

Trump's comments on immigration––which critics allege court white nationalist sensibilities––garnered approval from 56 percent who said they believe the Trump administration is setting immigration policy on the right course, but that number is down from 62 percent who said the same during his last speech. He fared better on infrastructure, where he scored an 8 in 10 approval rating, and on the economy––a 7 in 10 approval rating.

Jinxy Productions via Getty images@PassionPopSoc/Twitter

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The wizarding world is now a reality.

Sort of.

A Canadian company has created a real life invisibility cloak, and it's mind-blowing to see in action.

The company, HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp., calls its creation "Quantum Stealth."

See it in action here:

'Invisibility cloak' that could hide tanks and troops looks closer to reality www.youtube.com

Describing themselves on their website as "Leaders in Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception", HyperStealth has patents pending on their magical invention.

The "invisibility shield" is made of an inexpensive, paper thin material that bends light to make objects appear to be invisible. The company boasts that it would be able to hide people, vehicles, and even buildings.

Humans hidden by Quantum Stealth would also be undetectable to heat-sensing cameras.

Meet the Canadian who created a real-life invisibility shield youtu.be

Guy Cramer, the CEO of HyperStealth and the shield's inventor explained to CTV News:

"This is the same material that you see in 3D books and DVD covers and movie posters where by moving side to side you get a 3D image. We're using the same material and we've removed the picture from behind it to get that effect."

The material was never meant to for public use, but Cramer hopes that his invention will be helpful to Canada's military allies, including the United States.

Since releasing video demonstrations of the "invisibility cloak", military personnel have become interested in learning more about it.

Reception to the prototype, initially demonstrated to militaries in 2011, was lukewarm. But HyperStealth's recent promotional materials have since caught the attention of higher ups.

Cramer has expressed surprise about the public's interest in "Quantum Stealth" on Twitter.

Cramer admitted to CTV that he has reservations about how the material can be used:

"The intention was to keep it out of the public and to allow the military to use it sparingly or bury it. My concern is the criminal element using this at some point in the future and non-allied countries using it against our soldiers out there."

Fans of the Harry Potter series are comparing "Quantum Stealth" to Harry's Invisibility Cloak.





Featured in both the book and movies, Harry's Invisibility Cloak is a made from a magical fabric that he and his friends wear to appear invisible, usually to hide from Hogwarts' staff.

Giphy

Twitter is in awe of the invention's unbelievable capabilities.





Though some people share Cramer's worries about it falling into the wrong hands and its use in warfare.





Despite the public's excitement and concerns, Cramer doubts that it will ever be available for civilian use.

When addressing "Quantum Stealth's availability to the general public, he wrote on the HyperStealth website:

"Not in the near future unless the Military decided to release the technology and I don't anticipate that will happen anytime soon."

If you're not up on your Potterdom lore (or just need a new set after reading your first ones to tatters) the Harry Potter Books 1-7 Special Edition Boxed Set is available here.

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