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. Jerry

    Now class..

    Can you osay "Wishful thinking" ?

    September 10, 2009 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  2. Joan

    Obama is a gifted man of critical thinking! I was impressed, as usual, with his straight talk speech, as well as the passion and dedication he showed to and for the American people. We are extremely lucky to have this man as our President. I can only hope that sentiment will soon be felt by even more people. We can trust Barack Obama!

    September 10, 2009 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  3. JCP

    I agree with the President and thank him for such clarity in his presentation. Also I would like to thank him for dispelling the baseless rumors and distortions created by folks like Rep Wilson.

    I CONDEMN Rep Wilson for his uncivilized baseless heckling remark during the speech.

    September 10, 2009 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  4. Anonymous

    I don't understand why that is or sounds like a big surprise! Probably 95% of the people polled were dems. I think the dems are so hell bent on having their guy in office that they tend to overlook how bad of a job he is actually doing! The rep who shouted out was correct. Maybe he should have waited and told it to his face, but none the less he was right. This is what happens when someone keeps saying one thing, but does another. We need a person in this office who can lead and surround himself with very bright people. Obama has not done neither. His flunkies are not worth the spit on the sidewalk. They care just about their own plans and the heck with the public. If Obama would have done absolutely nothing when he took office, this economy would have started turning around probably quicker than it is right now. It has started turning without he or his staff doing anything. But, he has to have his name on everything. He is very greedy and self-centered.

    September 10, 2009 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  5. SS

    Two thumbs up!

    September 10, 2009 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  6. Rod

    I am for some reform, but not Socialism !
    Besides you can not believe a word he says.

    Laws/legislation is a far better option:
    * Enable to cross state borders for health ins (competition).
    * Prevent ins companies from increasing or droping your health ins, because of illness.
    * Tort reform.
    * Some type of constraint on pharmaceutical companies
    (example, $4000 for monthly cancer pills is a scam!).

    I am very opposed to:
    1). The government to get bigger and bigger !
    2). The government spending money they do not have !

    September 10, 2009 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  7. David Gold

    Whether you agree with President Obama or not, If you didn't take the time to listen to his speech, you don't deserve to have an opinion on this issue. It was very obvious that he had taken the time to listen to all sides of this very complex issue and is doing everything he can to move forward and not just throw in the towel like so many before him.

    September 10, 2009 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  8. Anonymous

    simply put... the truth over comes the bable of politicians.
    The USA voters have heard a promise of our President and that is the final decision.
    All the pundits rhetoric was washed down the toilet until the try to put a new spin on there babel.
    If the President succeeds we will be a better country in the long run.
    There is no price put on a child or a parents life. We still will take the moral high ground.
    YEA USA!!

    September 10, 2009 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  9. Jdog

    Good job from the president on this one...Clearly put the wing nuts in their place and put them on notice that an adult was coming in to clean up the mess.

    Now all you Rebubs who publicly scream against health care reform but secretly pray for its passage can breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like this may actually get done!

    September 10, 2009 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  10. J.P.

    Gee, a heavily-Dem skewed viewership, watching CNN of all news outlets, giving Barry big approval numbers on his speech. Shock, shock! Whodathunk?

    In other news, water is wet.

    September 10, 2009 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  11. Terry

    I must admit the man is a good speaker. But if the country is being bankrupted, it will not be able to support any healthcare policy. This speech sounded like a campaign speech without any substance.

    September 10, 2009 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  12. DJ in the Silicon Forest

    Same stuff different day! I do not trust the Dems or the President to do what they say. Obama said at least three times before the Stimulus Bill was passed that he was going to go over it line by line and veto any pork etc...he signed that so fast and NEVER gave it a once over. Since then, I do not trust him at all! So he expects a gov't that can't seem to run Medicare without massive waste and fraud to start up a humongous new branch of gov't spending of colossal proportions and not have more waste on a scale unprecedented before? He must really think we are gullible.

    September 10, 2009 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  13. J from DC

    The speach was great. The republican opposition is in mass confusion over healthcare in DC. Moreover, many republicans some ranking want to support the current healthcare plan, including the public option. However, they are being pressured by their own party that they will turn on them if they vote their conscious or express their views publicly. In my opinion, they have already turned on them, and someone needs to allow those republicans to speak their true feelings, instead of forcing them to sit in silence. People need to see that the Republican Party is more diverse in opinion then meets the eye.

    September 10, 2009 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  14. Very Pleased!

    I watched the speech and was very pleased with Obama's proposals. I must say I was a bit skeptical going in, but am relieved and wholeheartedly support him! Rep. Wilson from South Carolina owes the American people an apology for such appalling behavior tonight towards are President. Totally and unequivocally unacceptable and embarrassing.

    September 10, 2009 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  15. peter

    We don't need double digits, what we need is for youCNN to stop running ads which are lies and the Presidents job will be easier! but can you do that? NOPE greediness rather than common sense prevails in the American society!!

    September 10, 2009 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  16. Maria D

    Who the heck were you polling??? His cleverly repackaged lies deceived no one. You must have polled ACORN workers!

    September 10, 2009 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  17. morefromLA

    Powerful speech. Game over. Cap and Trade is next. Ladies and gentlemen we have a great President.

    September 10, 2009 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  18. ettam

    He said nothing new, just read a good speech.
    Wait a few days when reality sinks in and then take a poll.

    September 10, 2009 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  19. Moe, NY

    I support President Obama's health care reform....he is for the American people, not a corporate american robot.

    September 10, 2009 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  20. AstroTurf This

    What a bunch of crap! There was absolutely nothing in this speech that was new. Obama's same old song and dance. It reminded me of an infomercial you see at 2:00 a.m. when he said that government run healthcare would not cost us a dime "You can sit on your couch, eat anything you want and still lose weight!" Of course the key sentence here is that this was a CNN poll and most of the people were democrats. To even use this poll as some kind of serious data is pathetic. I'm surprised the networks or CNN didn't just write their reviews before the speech. It was too long...short on facts...and did not offer anything new. The DNC can't pass a major healthcare bill. That is the fact. The only way they will get this thru is through reconciliation and if they do that they can kiss goodbye their majority in 2010.

    September 10, 2009 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  21. A concern citizen

    First of all I am pleased to hear somebody talking about real issue, facts, solutions today. If this bill don't pass, then I will know that the special interest and the GOP hate the American people after what I've hear this evening. Second of all, Rep Wilson should be empeached. He insulted the commandant in chief of our nation on National tv, in front of millions of people, even in front of people abroad. It is a shame for the GOP. This man does not respect me,nor the president of the United States of America nor the American people. I was chocked and stunned, period.
    The president was embarassed to be treated like that. I guess now anybody can go ahead and curse at the president. And It was not even the only who behaved badly in that room. It is just a SHAME.

    September 10, 2009 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  22. marc guzman

    I never got a call, he makes a good sales men. I like to know the cost.

    September 10, 2009 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  23. No Hillary = No Obama

    Bounce and then renounce. It is not a good thing when a congressman thinks he can shout out the President This was akin to those town hall meetings. Not only that, did you see the look on the faces of some of those Republicans? I don't think they like Obama or what they think of him, but he's in for a fight.

    September 10, 2009 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  24. Michael

    I'm an Independent and I have to admit at first, earlier this summer with all the things I heard in the media I was against the healthcare plan too, however, I think tonight President Obama made an excellent case with excellent points and now that the President mentioned it, he is right, many of the same people that are against healthcare reform are the very same people that tried to make cuts to Medicare/Social Security by putting it in the stock market. I also think President Obama answered many unanswered questions that not only put my mind at ease to support his plan but I think that others will come around too and see through the political spin of those that are against it and refuse to even try to meet the President half way. One of the ways I think the government can save on Medicare without making any cuts to benefits is to stop allowing the wealthy to have Medicare in the first place even though they paid into the system, anyone with an income over $500,000 shouldn't qualify to have Medicare because those folks can afford to buy a health insurance policy of their own.

    September 10, 2009 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  25. mike,texas

    We know what the 29 percent opposed was. 20 percent republican(ALL OF THEM) and 9 percent redneck.

    September 10, 2009 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
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