February 24th, 2009
06:00 AM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: Lower expectations for Obama speech

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/05/art.getty.obama.jpg caption="A new CNN poll indicates lower expectations for President Obama's inaugural address."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that most Americans think President Barack Obama will give a good speech in his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, but expectations are not as high as they were for his inaugural address.

Twenty-eight percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday morning say they think the president's prime-time address will be excellent. That's down from the 44 percent last month who thought the inauguration address by Obama would be excellent.

Another 44 percent feel the speech will be good and 19 percent say it will be okay. Eight percent suggest the speech will be poor or terrible, up from three percent who thought the same way about the president's inauguration address.

"The expectation among Democrats is as high as it was for the inaugural address," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the number of Republicans who expect a good speech from Obama has dropped 24 points. That may be because an inauguration is usually seen as a bipartisan event, while the out-party often views a speech to Congress as a partisan exercise."

The poll also indicates that 62 percent think it's likely that Obama's speech will make them feel more confident about the economy. And two out of three say the president's policies will move the country in the right direction.

Obama remains popular, but what about other prominent Democrats - such as Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, who will be sitting behind Obama on Tuesday night? The public's opinion of Vice President Joe Biden remains positive, with 57 percent saying they have a favorable impression of him.

The poll suggests that 36 percent have a favorable opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with 43 percent holding an unfavorable opinion, with one out of five unsure.

The poll shows similar numbers for Pelosi's Senate counterpart, Harry Reid. Twenty-two percent of those questioned have a favorable view of the Senate majority leader, with 30 percent holding an unfavorable view and 48 percent unsure.

"Many Americans don't have an opinion of Pelosi, probably because she has never run for national office. Those who do know her are split.

Reid, who tends to get even less national face time than Pelosi, is unfamiliar to roughly half the public; those who know him tend to have an unfavorable view, adds Holland.

Sen. John McCain remains popular after his 2008 election loss to Obama, with a favorable rating of 52 percent.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted February 18-19, with 1,046 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. CJ


    February 24, 2009 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  2. chris

    He can just stand there and say nothing, It will be an upgrade from Bush

    February 24, 2009 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  3. Together Each Accmplishes More

    No matter what President Obama says or does, the Republicans, the party of Reagan (Nancy Regean = "just say NO!" will moan and groan ... complain and posture ... adding windy words but nothing constructive –

    As for the pricey Presidential Helicopter – I live in the area where it is being built .... and it was BUSH who ordered it – no Obama .... but let's not let facts get in the way of GOP whine ...

    February 24, 2009 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  4. Mark

    Now he's promising to cut the budget deficit in half! This guy says one lie right after another and yet the media still waste their time on attacking Palin. 🙂

    February 24, 2009 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  5. John

    What the heck are we doing polling how people "think" a speech might be? There are hungry, umemployed people and we are polling this stuff? You've GOT to be kidding. Every detail of every item, just over one month in office, people are actually thinking about judging based on a speech....favorability ratings after election losses....too much time on someone's hands.

    February 24, 2009 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  6. Art

    Well, here's my opinion of Pelosi: She is devisive and caters to the very "Good ole boy network" as usual. She is merely a token of American women vice an effective mirror of them.

    February 24, 2009 06:39 am at 6:39 am |