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. dlboggan

    It's not that there were more Democrats watching it is more likely that there are far few Republicans left to watch as they leave this now extreme right-wing extremist filled No party. Democrats have moved more towards the middle and Replublicans have moved to the extreme right.

    September 10, 2009 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  2. CP0879

    Excellent speech! President Obama covered all the key points and demonstrated once again that he is the voice of reason in this debate. The Republicans can continue to be obstructionists, but it will only backfire on them.

    September 10, 2009 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  3. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their follishness.

    Fools are born every day. The plan will never fly. Beware the man from the Asian Continent.

    September 10, 2009 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  4. freedom

    why do you bother posting such a story when you know that your poll was not done in a fair and scientific manor.

    You said yourself in fine print that it does not truly reflect what Americans think because the majority of viewers were infact democrats.

    Well that makes your stupid poll invalid and pointless.
    Why bother????

    September 10, 2009 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  5. kendrick vandenberg

    i really for bad for the congress member who decided to shout out during the presidents speech.. he made himself look foolish, most likely shouted that out becuase he didn't hear what he was wanting to hear, it's really quite sad, he made himself look a fool and made his state look bad as well.

    September 10, 2009 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  6. T

    As a physician the speech after Mr. Obama by the GOP was much more impressive and realistic. The American people better wake-up to what both sides are saying......nothing is more important than our health. The inefficiencies of government run healthcare programs is not the answer to healthcare reform.......please wake-up America.

    September 10, 2009 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  7. Myron

    In the words of the inimitable B-Real: "He's got juice, how long can it last him?"

    September 10, 2009 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  8. Jim

    I am awed by the power and intellectual clarity of Obama's speech. He spoke most profoundly on the meaning of democracy and the role of government. He defined the need for health care reform as not just an economic but a moral imperative. His speech can be compared to the great addresses of Lincoln, Gladstone, Roosevelt, Churchill and Kennedy. He convinced me health care reform is the great unfinished task of American democracy.

    September 10, 2009 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  9. Terence Fallon, Jr.

    A country is truly united when it unites its entire people, rich, poor, health and ill to the ways of a pure liberty for all. Men, women, and children that are so blessed to be a citizen of this fine country we call America, shall never have to be pushed away from the a proper care of health, and any exception should be considered a careless and selfish attempt to fill ones pockets, instead of hearts of those that are less fortunate. Greed will be frowned on, and healthcare reform will undoubtedly reinforce the working-class people to help build this great nation, a powerful cornerstone with a healthy vigor. With this understanding no citizen shall ever be left behind, because we are a great nation that was founded by its people and for its people.

    -Terence Fallon, Jr. Louisiana

    September 10, 2009 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  10. étranger

    The Repugnantcans can lie prodigiously and disgracefully about "death panels"; their demagoons Back, Maulkin, and Limbaugh can stir their toxic cocktail of race-baiting, hypocrisy, and distortions; the "birthers," "deathers," and all manner of Palinistas can try to out Fascist each other––and why not, Fascism was and will always be a "style of politics" from the RIGHTWING, as scholars as varied as Eugen Weber, George Mosse, Hannah Arendt, and Robert O. Paxton have all illucidated––but they always underestimate Obama. Look at where it has gotten them: nowhere but a shrunken party of fakes, fools, and home-grown Fascists afraid, so afraid, that "their" America of Ronnie the Raygun is going, going, gone.

    It is, but not without a fight, indeed. So be it. "The torch has been passed. The dream lives. And the hope never dies"

    September 10, 2009 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  11. Ken Williams

    It would have been nice if the President gave more specifics on how it will be paid for. Saying he will remove waste is pretty generic.

    September 10, 2009 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  12. Brook

    1) Watching the applause and standing ovations, I don't think you could expect more bi-partisanship. Conservatives joined in applause more often than not.

    2) Boustany's prepared speech echoed what the president sought to dispell. It brought nothing new to the conversation.

    Republican's only seem to care about healthcare when Democrats make them.

    September 10, 2009 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  13. Jorge

    Just more debt-will hurt the county

    September 10, 2009 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  14. Charlie Miller

    CNN, You Lie! There was no CNN poll available for voting after the speech.

    September 10, 2009 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  15. uisignorant

    If Obamacare can save billions from medicare, why not do it now?

    September 10, 2009 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  16. aware

    Obama gave a lengthy convoluted, incoherent diatribe that was surprising in its petty partisanship. 😦

    He missed the mark and will pay the price!

    September 10, 2009 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  17. Claudia

    President Obama made me proud to be an American. This speech will go down in history as one of the best.

    September 10, 2009 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  18. Ron

    For every $1 spent on private healthcare insurance, 3c is insurance company profit, 6c government taxes and 10c malpractice insurance and defensive medicine.

    It seems to my simple mind, that the place to start with reform is with the lawyers. Malpractice insurance and defensive medicine currently gets more than 3x what the healthcare insurance companies gets.

    Why is Obama still only prepared to "pilot" malpractice reform? Surely most of congress being attorneys has nothing to do with this?

    September 10, 2009 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  19. Anonymous

    God forbid the male, fat, old, radical religious, white, Southern gentleman's party supporters listen to an educated, rational, calm Black gentleman, or for that matter let their kids listen to the President of the United States. How can they spread lies about someone when he comes across as such a genuine, kind and decent human being!!!
    Bunch of down right would be so interesting to see if Obama had been white – if all this vitriol would be quite as "elevated" as it has been (Faux News)!
    Shame on this country, shame on the white MINORITY to play such dirty, low-down tricks on a President who won the MAJORITY of this countries votes!!!

    September 10, 2009 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  20. Scott Lomax

    Again, I ask, under what constitutional authority do the President's propsed changes to fundamental state/individual rights fall under?

    President Obama is well versed on constitutional matters but his speech so blurs and confuses the lines between state and federal responsibilities as to be mind boggling. His metaphor about auto insurance is just ridiculous. Automotive inurance is ENTIRELY a states decision whether to require and/or enforce; but, even more pressing is the difference between the "priledge" to drive and the "right" to breathe.

    In all realtiy, the only way that the federal government can possibly infringe in indivual rights to the exent that the president expressed in his speech would be through a constitution convention to add amendments to our governmental contract. It is time for that call I believe.

    September 10, 2009 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  21. Yesenia

    Tonight we witnessed how focused some Republicans are in destroying this President, with no concern of the real problems facing the same people that put them in office. It is time we all realize the impact of the uninsured on the economy and get in line with other democratic countries and begin to protect the health of all. We witnessed such disrespect for the President and our Country by the Republican who yelled out lies about the illegal immigrants being protected by this health policy; not taking into account that as he spoke those child like words to the President, an illegal immigrant is getting health care at a clinic somewhere in our Country, AND WE ARE PAYING FOR IT NOW. To those that hate, stop your nonsense-you are hurting your kids future and mine and making us look like fools in front of other Countries. I always hear us call our selves the greatest country in the world, perhaps we should begin to act like it and show respect in the eye of disagreements.

    September 10, 2009 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  22. Bill Langdon

    What a great speach, I agree with everything our President said concerning the health care plan. Now it is time for congress on both sides to lay down there arms and do what is right for the people of our great country for a change. This has to be accomplished or it will bring the down fall of our great society. It is inexcusable that the richest and most powerful country on this planet has people without health care coverage and children going to bed hungry at night.

    September 10, 2009 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  23. JS

    Americans are IDIOTS- proving once again, they're vulnerable to brain washing by the political moron with the biggest title. This is one pathetic country!

    September 10, 2009 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  24. Opinion

    Were the Republicans prohibited by their "superiors" to listen to the speech given by President Obama.??? Rather keep them uninformed and as ignorant as possible?? What a sad reality...

    September 10, 2009 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
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    ...this outburst brought to you by Pfizer
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    September 10, 2009 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
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