February 25th, 2009
09:15 AM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Obama's speech scored with viewers

Two-thirds of those who watched the President's speech reacted favorably, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted after the speech Tuesday night.
Two-thirds of those who watched the President's speech reacted favorably, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted after the speech Tuesday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new national poll indicates that two-thirds of those who watched President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress reacted favorably to his speech.

Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey Tuesday night had a very positive reaction to the president's address, with 24 percent suggesting they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent indicating they had a negative reaction.

Since the president is a Democrat, the audience watching his speech is a bit out of line with the nation's breakdown by party. The speech audience questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll is about 8 to 10 points more Democratic than the general public.

Eighty-five percent of those polled said the president's speech made them feel more optimistic about the direction the country is headed in the next few years, with 11 percent indicating the speech made the feel more pessimistic.

Eighty-two percent of speech watchers say they support the economic plan Obama outlined in his prime-time address, with 17 percent opposing the proposals.

"These are great numbers for Obama, but they are no better or worse that Bill Clinton or George W. Bush got after their first speeches to Congress," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

For example, 82 percent said they support the proposals Obama outlined in his speech tonight. After Bill Clinton's first address to Congress in February, 1993, 79 percent of speech-watchers supported his policies. And George W. Bush got virtually the same amount of support for his proposals after his first speech eight years ago.

"That may mean that speech-watchers were rallying around the new president as much as they were rallying around his proposals," says Holland. "That may strike a cautionary note for the Obama White House, since Clinton's proposals in 1993 were initially well-received but quickly ran into trouble with Congress and the American public."

A big question is whether the address, which was watched by millions across the country, changed any minds.

"Among speech-watchers, the number who thought Obama's policies will move the country in the right direction grew by 17 points after they listened to Tuesday's address," says Holland.

Eight out of ten said the president's plans will succeed in improving the economy, and 68 percent feel his proposals will work in reducing the federal deficit.

Three out of four questioned say that Obama's plan will succeed in improving health care, and 82 percent feel that his proposals will create or save jobs across the country.

The survey included 484 speech-watchers questioned by telephone minutes after the president finished his address. The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

(Updated Tuesday, 11:30 p.m.)


Filed under: CNN poll • Obama address • President Obama
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Baze

    It was an excellent speech. Detractors are anti-social morons that don't realize that ultimately nothing will work unless the people are willing to make it happen, and Obama inspires the people to get up and act.

    February 25, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. Obama supporter

    why do you say most of the people who watched the speech were democrats? 8 to 10 points how do you know that? candy crowley said the same thing what did she do, individually poll each one? She implied that the poll numbers were high because the democrats out numbered the other parties. If you people are going to use the polls, then don't add your 2 cents to the results.

    February 25, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Joan , Ontario

    President Obama is a true leader. He showed that last night. There seems to be quite a bit of criticism from journalists and pundits (probably Republican leaners) who think Pres. Obama should have put more specifics in his speech. Did you want to hear a three hour speech? That was not the time to give the specifics. They come from the people responsible for those ideas and are unrolled at appropriate times. Were the journalists trying SO hard to find something to criticize? After listening to Pres. Obama it was difficult to take poor Gov. Jindal seriously. He had an impossible job. The Republicans seem to be unravelling before our eyes. Pres. Obama did your country proud last night. You should appreciate him because he has the hardest job in the world.

    February 25, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Proud American

    UTTERLY AMAZING...HOW OUT OF 115 COMMENTS ON THE "TWITTER ARTICLE..." THAT CNN ONLY POSTS THE JNIDAL BASHING, OBAMA SUPPORTING ONES, OUT OF THE THOUSANDS THEY RECEIVED......JINDAL MAY BE NEW TO THE SCENE, BUT HE OFTEN SAYS THE WORD LIBERALS DON'T LIKE....."WORK...."

    The majority of posts allowed, were heavliy biased towards Obama,and by the sheer content of the message shows that the vast amount of his supporters haven't a clue about the economy or the world....still sucking down the obama-aid...

    Again...CNN only polls supporters of OBama...how lame!

    February 25, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Lolly, CO

    I don't blame Jindal for distrusting federal government after REPUBLICANS failed his state. But we did give them 150B in our taxpayer dollars and untold red Cross donations, so he should probably quit biatching. What was funny was how he was trying all night to say the Republicans weren;t strong enough over past 8 years to resist, what exactly, Republican agenda? But now I get it, Republicans keep complaining they as leaders won't intervene because they don't want the ball, plain and simple.

    BTW, Jindals IQ is like Einsteins and he gives a speech titled "Americans can do Anything"? And a boring story about some sherriff? And if its good for Baton Rouge its good for America? And ripping on Volcano monitoring and high speed rail? First I wouldnt give his speech at Boys State. Second, the future of the party just espoused the same set of lies! He just proved he's a tool, smart or not. Unrecoverable.

    February 25, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Paula

    Thank you to President Barak obama,
    My husband and I watched the speech and felt this was the only time we have heard a President be very direct. We really appreciate that. We both are 62 and know this change will not happen over night . We pray and hope that Our President will suceed.Go getem Obama

    February 25, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. cherrystrawberry

    THATS MY PRESIDENT! I AM SO PROUD OF HIM.

    February 25, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. nyc homeless conservative

    Scored with viewer???????????

    Look at the stk market today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    until he is out of office .....the country will go nowhere

    February 25, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. gg

    after bush,s three word speechs Iraq terrorist tax cut

    February 25, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Mark

    Obama is full of it just like he was on his campaign. With his and Pelosi's spending on gov't this country will not fully recover.

    February 25, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Rudy

    Bobby Jidal, Gov. LA, lost me at "Good Evening". He is just a puppet for Repulican Party.

    No chance Republican, no chance!

    February 25, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Unshrub

    Obama reminded me of why I voted for him, and Jindal reminded me of why I stop voting for republicans.

    February 25, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Karen- PROUD OF MY PRESIDENT

    The President assured me that we as a country will be ok. I'm confident with time and hard work we can turn this country around. It is so nice to see a President who can not only speak well but deliver a positive message of hope. The President not only outline what he plans to do with the stimulus bill but has already put into effect many of things he spoke about already. Great Job Mr. President!

    Now onto Jindal, my God it was like looking at Elmer Fudd. I couldn't understand a dang gone thing he was saying and he kept relating everything back to Katrina. Are you kidding me. The people of Katrina are still displaced and it looks like a IRAQ. Houses are boarded up, people are dieing everyday. I know this from experience, he should not only take the money for Louisana but put politics aside and think of the people first. This is the problem with the Republicans they can't stand it that they are not in charge and greasing the backs of Corporate. UNREAL, the Jindal speech was a disaster.

    February 25, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. Karen- PROUD OF MY PRESIDENT

    The President assured me that we as a country will be ok. I'm confident with time and hard work we can turn this country around. It is so nice to see a President who can not only speak well but deliver a positive message of hope. The President not only outline what he plans to do with the stimulus bill but has already put into effect many of things he spoke about already. Great Job Mr. President!

    Now onto Jindal, my God it was like looking at Elmer Fudd. I couldn't understand a dang gone thing he was saying and he kept relating everything back to Katrina. Are you kidding me. The people of Katrina are still displaced and it looks like a IRAQ. Houses are boarded up, people are dieing everyday. I know this from experience, he should not only take the money for Louisana but put politics aside and think of the people first. This is the problem with the Republicans they can't stand it that they are not in charge and greasing the backs of Corporate. UNREAL, the Jindal speech was a disaster. Republicans go back to the drawing board and for one think of the American people.

    February 25, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Deborah Black

    Wonderful speech Mr President. Encouraging, challenging, truthful and smart. This is what the "straight talk express" is all about, not that same old Republican spouting of how the governement is bad and giving more money to the rich will solve all our problems. As for, Governonr Gindal, I didn't get his points at all, except he is a neo con who wants to continue those failed policies and thinks we are all too stupid to hear that. It sounded like he was reading a fairy tale to kindergarteners.

    February 25, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Ray Fisher

    There are times when Americans must come together as one people despite our differences because our unity despite our diversity is our greatest asset. We are now in one of those times in our history when adversity threatens our way of life and the American Dream. Let us not have a house divided but a nation united, led by our President trodding into uncharted territory into the world of financial uncertainty to emerge slightly worn and fatigued yet triumphant by preserving our nation's interests and the American way of life. Let no naysayers divert us from our task or determination..

    February 25, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. concerned

    I pray that God will continue to bless our President–I think he is trying to do what is right for the People–Just help him with your Prayers–thanks

    February 25, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Dawn

    I watched his address to congress. I felt hopeful as well seeing a light at the end of this awful dark tunnel.

    I saw that those stupid Republicans not cheering at somethings that he spoke of. Finding two trillion dollars worth of cuts? WOW!

    Gov. Jindel I think he should do his homework, he should worry about the displaced Katrina victims. Complaining about Volcano watch? He should live in Yellowstone and the super volcano, that if this should blow, we would put our head between our legs and kiss our sweet a** goodbye, it would destroy this world, I think we have many volcanos and also hurricain watch is also a must for the Southern States. Remember one thing Jindel did not clean up after Katrina and Gustuv. He needs new levies.

    I would rate this a 9.5 out of 10

    February 25, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Maggie from Virginia

    The President was fantastic, as usual.

    February 25, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Freed_From_W

    The man can make a speech. It's a good feeling to once again have the voice of our nation not be someone who gives me the impression that at any moment during his speech he could be spewing cracker crumbs at me.

    I liked the excited reaction of the crowd as well. .... well... the smart half of the crowd. The GOP goons pretty much continued their childishness and wouldn't stand too often. Although, most of the GOP are positively ancient.. so getting up might have been hard for them anyways...

    February 25, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. P. D.

    Obama has the gift of drawing people to him. However, Jindal's speech was cringe-worthy. For Jindal to praise the response of the government sinaction during Katrina is astounding. His speech was lackluster and dull.

    February 25, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. valerie

    Well done! He speaks with confidents and authority. He is the president of the US. Yes we can!!!

    February 25, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Dawn

    I rate his speech 9.5 out of 10. He gave me hope and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Gov. Jindel is a goof...

    Go Obama and Biden you get my vote in 2012

    February 25, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Johan Bc Canada

    By far the biggest asset of the USA in this crisis siuation is president Obama himself.

    February 25, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Mari

    That's interesting that the article above says that the people polled were more Democratic than average. That statement leads me to believe what I have been sensing for quite some time, that America is moving away from conservatism.

    As a former-life-long Republican, I can attest to this, during the Bush era I was completely turned off by the rhetoric that questions Americans patriotism, or is so self-righteous.

    KUDOS...... to President Obama...... we needed to hear from our president, we needed to be assured that everything possible is being done to put America back on the road to recovery & prosperity!

    February 25, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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