September 10th, 2009
06:08 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: Double-digit post-speech jump for Obama plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two out of three Americans who watched President Barack Obama's health care reform speech Wednesday night favor his health care plans - a 14-point gain among speech-watchers, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll of people who tuned into Obama's address Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress.

Sixty-seven percent of people questioned in the survey say the support Obama's health care reform proposals that the president outlined in his address, with 29 percent opposed. Those figures are almost identical to a poll conducted immediately after Bill Clinton's health care speech before Congress in September, 1993.

The audience for the speech appears to be more Democratic than the U.S. population as a whole. Because of this, the results may favor Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tune into the speech. The poll surveyed the opinions of people who watched Wednesday night's speech, and does not reflect the views of all Americans.

(Full results after the jump)

About one in seven people who watched the speech changed their minds on Obama's health care plan. "Going into the speech, a bare majority of his audience - 53 percent - favored his proposals. Immediately after the speech, that figure rose to 67 percent," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the real question is whether those conversions will last. Bill Clinton got similar numbers after his 1993 address to Congress, but five months later a majority of the country no longer supported his plan."

Fifty-six percent of people questioned say they had a very positive reaction to the speech, with 21 percent indicating they had a somewhat positive reaction and a equal amount suggesting they had a negative reaction. The 56 percent who said they had a very positive reaction is lower than the 68 percent of speech watchers who had a similar reaction to the president's first address to a joint session of Congress in February.

More than seven in ten say that Obama clearly stated his goals, with one in four saying he didn't express his goals clearly.

Three out of four say it's very or somewhat likely that the president will pass most of his proposals on health care reform through Congress, with one in four saying it's unlikely.

Seven in 10 say that Obama's policies will move the country in the right direction, up 10 points from before the speech.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted just before and just after the president's speech, with 427 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The sample of speech-watchers in this poll was 45 percent Democratic and 18 percent Republican. Our best estimate of the number of Democrats in the voting age population as a whole indicates that the sample is about 8-10 points more Democratic than the population as a whole.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Read: The full results of CNN's poll

Filed under: CNN poll • Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. KO

    The President laid out a compelling case for why reform was needed and what it needs to accomplish. He's right that we're closer to this than we've ever been. Health insurance reform will benefit everybody, conservatives as well as moderates and liberals. The sooner everybody realizes this the better.

    September 10, 2009 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  2. ron

    "...and the Dream shall never die."

    September 10, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  3. Todd

    Simply not possible. A 14 point swing in those polled? You have got to be out of your mind to be writing this, nothing more than an Obama staffer.

    September 10, 2009 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  4. Lisa

    Brilliant speech!

    September 10, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  5. kate

    that's because most people that watch CNN like Obama.

    I really don't care what polls say.

    September 10, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  6. Carol Schneider

    Re: Rep. Wilson's outburst during President Obama's speech.

    I hope that the good people of SC who voted that man into office have the decency & class to boot Rep. Wilson's disrespectful ass out of office!!

    He residents in his district deserve better....alot better !!!!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  7. Wise Latina

    Of course, only Obama loony libs wasted their time watching this phony event, and so the polled population was just a little bit skewed!!

    September 10, 2009 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    What is it with South Carolina? Hubris must in the drinking water there ... First you have The Luv Guv Sanford and his lying, cheating, misleading ways; now you have Rep. Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar during his health care reform speech before a joint session of Congress.

    Not only was Wilson rude, he was wrong. President Obama wasn't lying – no where does it say that illegal immigrants will be provided coverage under President Obama's health care proposal.

    Wilson just didn't like what he was hearing and since he's a Republican, when faced with unpleasant facts, the standing order is to .... act like a child, whine and complain, and then blame the "gotcha media" for catching their bad behavior on tape.

    September 10, 2009 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. Don Knutson

    Your poll does not reflect the opinions of all Americans. The people that watch your proggrams are Democrats and that is why your polls are skewed. Look at the non partisan polls to see what America thinks. It is hugely different than your polls!!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  10. Ed Petrea

    All of the republican members of the house and senate should be required to
    complete a hate management program. As far as the South Carolina people
    they lost my respect when they sent a 90 year old to Washington.

    September 10, 2009 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  11. Eugene

    With dignity and fairmindedness, let's pass it.

    September 10, 2009 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Just to explain it more slowly this time to Rep. Joe Wilson and his constituents:

    There is no provision in President Obama's health care proposal to provide coverage for illegal immigrants.

    However, illegal immigrants will not be turned away for medical treatment because of their immigration status; you know, that pesky Hypocratic Oath doctors take to "First, do no harm." That, coupled with the fact that America is a largely compassionate country (in the real, tangible sense, not in the in-name-only sense) and would not let a person suffer and die just because they didn't have insurance.

    September 10, 2009 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  13. Proud American

    What's sad and Republicans don't get is the truth will always trump a lie. Americans are not stupid, but they continue to preach about a "Death Squad", give me a break, they should be thankful that there isn't one for Moron's

    September 10, 2009 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  14. Nick

    Thus showing how gullible Americans are willing to disregard the Constitution and follow after illegal legislation wrapped up in charisma.

    September 10, 2009 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  15. Jeff

    The only people who bothered to watch the speech were those who wanted it to be a "game changer". The rest of us wrote Health Care Reform off before the summer recess. The attempt to portray this partisan diatribe as an olive branch to the opposition simply demonstrates how badly the President over-reached himself.

    September 10, 2009 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  16. S M R

    The Democrats will hold the majority for years to come. 🙂

    September 10, 2009 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  17. Concerned American

    What a crock. The sampling is so heavily weighted with Democrats. The hero of the evening wasn't Obama, it was Joe Wilson.

    September 10, 2009 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  18. Anonymous

    The health care plan can't be trusted.

    September 10, 2009 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    What will be interesting to hear and read are the reactions by Fox News. They didn't broadcast the President's speech (didn't want to risk their viewers being corrupted by the truth), but they'll sure to be full of opinions about it. Which they will dutifully report as truth to their viewers who didn't see or hear the speech because they have been made afraid of the Liberal Media and its bias and spinning and not telling the whole story ... made afraid by Fox News and their minions and lackeys ...

    Makes your head kind of want to explode, doesn't it?

    September 10, 2009 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  20. D. Hanes

    Come on.. this is CNN... Obama;s station... we canot go by this poll to tell us how Americans feel.

    Give me a break!

    September 10, 2009 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  21. Ruth Pianalto

    Magnificant speech tonight! President Obama showed specifics, ownership and and practical and moral integrity. This is coming from an Independent who voted for the President and certainly am glad that I did.

    September 10, 2009 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  22. Karl

    President Obama met his goal this evening. Explain health care in layman's terms. He did that. Now for the GOP. No one should be upset with the Repugs' behavior. It's a sign of fear and loathing. Never in the history of American politics has a party totally disembowel themselves of purpose and reason. Our President bought it home this evening and many can't stand it...but many more love it! Keep your heads up. We're winning.

    September 10, 2009 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  23. ThinkAgain

    I'm not surprised in the jump in the poll numbers. President Obama is an intelligent, thoughtful man who is also a greater writer and speaker. He believes in what he says, and backs it up with a genuine, heartfelt love and concern for his country, and an abounding sense of service.

    When he talked about the late Senator Kennedy and the passion and compassion he brought to his work on health care issues, my impression was that President Obama shares that level of concern and understanding, as well as the importance of it in how it directly affects the lives of all Americans, especially those of lesser means.

    A very inspiring, hopeful speech, one that makes me proud to have elected such a strong leader. I am also inspired to continue to do whatever I can to help create real, lasting, substantial health care reform.

    September 10, 2009 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  24. Reality

    LOL a CNN poll. Obama wants to tax workers to pay insurance companies, and he said it in his speech.

    September 10, 2009 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  25. Bruce

    You gotta be kidding. You based this on a poll with a 5% declared margin of error? That is a useless result in statistics yet you use these statistic like they were a fact. Better refresh your memory of what constitutes a valid sample and valid results.

    The health care bill is an economy buster. Illegals will be covered as soon as the amnesty bill is passed – or they are given temporary green cards. They are no longer illegal/undocumented at that point and will be covered by your tax dollars.

    Sleight of hand and total disregard for the will of the people. That's Chicago Politics gone to Washington. You elected the people doing this so you can't complain when they give you the shaft – and here it comes.

    September 10, 2009 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
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