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Previewing The 2014 State Of The Union Address

11:43 AM, Jan 26, 2014   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is set to deliver the annual State of the Union address this week, and while we wait to hear the real thing, analysts say there are a few points we can expect to see covered. 

Jason Husser, assistant professor of political science at Elon University, says defense of the Affordable Care Act could possibly be the president's most important talking point.

"The president wants to make sure that people have a more favorable impression of [the Affordable Care Act] when he's done with his speech," said Husser. "He wants to craft the agenda about the ACA in a way that's favorable to him, and more importantly, favorable toward democrats in the 2014 elections."

READ MORE: Health Care Changes To Watch For In 2014

Another key issue for the president and the nation is the job market. Analysts say they expect the president to discuss unemployment benefits and the minimum wage. 

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"[The topic of extending unemployment benefits] is important because it means that more people are getting paid instead of sort of going without paychecks before the election, the economy's better and a good economy tends to help candidates from the incumbent's party," said Husser. "So, more unemployment benefits now, probably means more votes for democrats in November." 

The 2014 election will rest heavily on, not only President Obama's address, but policies in over the next few months. That's why, Husser says, the minimum wage will be an important topic for the president during this year's State of the Union. 

When it comes to wages, President Obama recently announced he wants to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. 

Read More: Pres. Obama: Income Inequality Threatens American Dream

"If minimum wage is increased to $10 an hour, it likely means the number of people that are below the poverty line will be above the poverty line," said Husser. "However, it could lead to some unemployment," he added. 

Husser says opponents will argue fast food restaurants, for instance, will fire staff to afford the higher minimum wage.

Some of the other issues analysts expect the president to discuss this week include the NSA, immigration and climate change. 

But Husser says, while President Obama could cover a wide range of topics, his focus will be narrow. 

"President Obama has two major goals with this address," said Husser. "One is to make sure his party doesn't lose seats in the upcoming elections in November and the second is to protect his legacy. That means protecting his legislative achievements, like the Affordable Care Act and making sure that history views him positively." 

This year's address is Tuesday night at 9 p.m. And, the White House is offering new ways to watch in 2014. Of course, you can still see the address on television, but this year, social media and the Internet will drive much of the coverage. 

There will be a live stream on whitehouse.gov equipped with graphics and charts to help viewers understand the policies President Obama will be discussing. 

You can also watch this year's address on Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.

Follow WFMY News 2's Patrick Wright on Twitter or like his Facebook page

Elon University, WFMY News 2

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