September 10th, 2009
06:08 PM ET
5 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. Mrs. Beck

    Have you people lost your minds? The only thing swinging about this socialist healthcare bill is the smooshy stuff in your heads where your brains are suppose to be!

    Socialism only works till you run out of other peoples money.
    Guess what, that will happen very quickly. Most wealthy people lost all of their money during September 08's stock crash.

    September 10, 2009 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  2. Nancy

    I agree, I had a positive reaction after hearing the speech. More than that is my husband's change, he'd been pretty disappointed lately. He actually applauded afterward!

    September 10, 2009 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  3. Brian Wilson

    Genius CNN. I love the spin. What this poll actually shows is that nobody but die hard dems watched the speech. I bet his poll numbers sink even farther as it was the same old flulff.

    September 10, 2009 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  4. LW In Texas

    When the truth came out, and the when the President had the floor the People will see that his plan is for everyone, and it will not add to the debt, and it will bring us in step with other nations. He did a great job and I think we will get reform out this...thank God

    September 10, 2009 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  5. gregory

    Joe Wilson wing nut from the GOP confederated Taliban state of south carolina. Thank Joe you just help pass the bill!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  6. Judy

    President Obama came out sounding like the Obama we all know and voted for. His intelligence , compassion. and character came shining through. The world would be a better place if more people demonstrated the same. President Obama Hawaii taught you well about ALOHA for your fellow citizens. Proud of you.

    September 10, 2009 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  7. Jim

    Uneducated Republicans didn't bother to watch because they had no desire to learn anything or get informed. Hmmm, what else is new. Just heckel the President and show your ignorance and hate for your fellow Americans. How pathetic!

    September 10, 2009 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  8. Raphael Madison

    I was appalled of the disrespect by Rep. Joe Wilson on national TV during the President's speech. As much as I have disagreed with past Presidents I have never heard this kind of disrespect by calling the President a lie by shouting during his speech. I have never heard this kind of disrespect during any Presidents address. I hope the residents of South Carolina remember this when it is time for his re-election. I wish there was some type of sanction that could be given to this great congressman.

    It appears that some members o congress really do not care about America and care more about this President failing without regard to the fact that if Obama fails so does America. This is racism in its greatest and sickest form.

    This is a sad day for our country.

    September 10, 2009 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  9. fella

    Thats all bull crap... Osama(obama).. is tryign to shove his crap down out throats... once he totally screwed this country up.. next time people wont vote looks next time. Perhaps they will actually vote issues

    September 10, 2009 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  10. yo

    Great speech

    September 10, 2009 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  11. Nathan

    If republicans didn't watch the speech then it indicates that they don't want to work with the President or the democrats. So to hell with them. The democrats should move on without them. They are irrelevent anyway. The disrespect they show for this PResident goes beyond just politics. Theres only only one thing in American history that loses control of emotions the way these people do when it comes to Obama, and we know what that is.

    September 10, 2009 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  12. beverly

    what part of the country do you take these pollls, I live in the in New York and i have never been asked, as for me I have health care insurance.President Obama health care reform is a positive solution, I would hope some the GOP would help is agenda, if not they will suffer in the near future at the polls and you can take that to the bank.

    September 10, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  13. John

    LOL, Well, then this poll means 7 in 10 Americans are big-government- loving.. hapless non thinking idiots who think government is the answer to anything and everything. WAKE UP!

    September 10, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  14. wycliffe

    Rep. Joe wilson was an epitome of republicans demagogue at town halls. I think it is time for civility and not entertaining nonsense like this.

    September 10, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  15. Cliff Vegas

    Obama reached out to his core supporters tonight and touched us with a very important message that we can rally behind: the status quo is unacceptable. His second message also resonated: if you don't have something constructive to add to the conversation – shut your beak and sit down!

    September 10, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  16. Tim, Seattle, WA

    Obama won the day. Great, moving and clarifying.
    Excellent refutation of the fear mongers.

    Obama just got one step closer tonite to a bill. Republican hecklers only point to their weak waning fear campaign.
    The guano crazy right is about to be beat by Obama again.

    September 10, 2009 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  17. ATM aggies

    Those republicans jumped the gun a bit. Not only on the stimulus package but also on healthcare. Sometimes what you throw out (like tonight and the "school socialist plan to kids") comes back at you hard. Go get 'em Barack :)

    September 10, 2009 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  18. Danny Corrigan

    HIs increased poll numbers on Health Care Reform will drop back down soon as the Repubs can keep repeating the same old lies and make up a few more to scare their supporters.

    By the way, Republicans need to stop and think a minute what their leaders are telling them by always using scare tactics. Terrorist attacks, mushroom clouds, death panels.... You don't use scare tactics on people who are brave. It won't work. You use scare tactics on those who are easily afraid. In fact, the bigger coward you are, the better the scare tactics work. Obviously, Republican leaders think their supporters are the biggest wimps in the world. I couldn't be a Repub because I just don't feel fearful often. How would they get me to support their agenda if they can't scare me?

    What's ironic is, the Repub leaders will keep doing this forever because there aren't enough of their supporters that have the nerve to tell them to stop. I guess they're afraid.

    September 10, 2009 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    If any Goppers watched it, it takes away their chance to make things up about the bill. They wouldn't want that to happen, cause then the truth would be out there for all to plainly see.

    September 10, 2009 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  20. Z gal

    President Obama, please know that the world is sending you LOVE tonight, and always.

    President Obama, please know that the world is sending your family LOVE tonight, and always.

    What you accomplished tonight was to really tell the TRUTH. Thank you for showing up and being determined to create a better nation for all our children simply through your example.

    With so much PRE-STAGED hatred and conflict going on across this nation, please know that the dark will more-than-likely get darker only because that is what is knows best, but the light, yes Obama's essence will prevail through our love and his truth.

    For you see citizens, President Obama is probably the most emotionally balanced President ever to preside over our nation. (Thank goodness he is our President.) Therefore his power, his presence inspires us all to be better human beings, including our children. Many thanks.

    September 10, 2009 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  21. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    The speech was great,The Republican party needs to get beside the president or be left behind like the 8-track.

    September 10, 2009 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  22. Believe Again

    Candy Crowley why bother with the analysis of the poll numbers, you technically took the life out of it before giving the poll numbers once again proving how dishonest and completely biased you are.

    As for John King I hear you have children and for all intents and purposes you love your children, yet for some reason you think that by cheating other people's kids from having health care that you leave a good legacy for them. I say be careful, what goes around always has a way of coming around. You may think you do this for political reasons but nothing escapes the eyes of God.

    Believe me when I say the old guard has retired. What you sow you will reap. Whether the president wins this or not, if you oppose this in good faith then you are innocent but if not, I repeat, what you sow you will reap.

    September 10, 2009 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  23. A Proud Citizen Of America!

    I am so proud we have a President that shows his care and concern for all of us in America! Refreshing!

    September 10, 2009 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  24. 59 yr white woman

    I'm so proud of our President!

    September 10, 2009 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  25. center left

    Bravo! Mr. President.

    September 10, 2009 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
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