February 24th, 2009
11:04 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Obama's speech scored with viewers

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that two-thirds of those who watched President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress reacted favorably to his speech.

Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey Tuesday night had a very positive reaction to the president's address, with 24 percent suggesting they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent indicating they had a negative reaction.

Since the president is a Democrat, the audience watching his speech is a bit out of line with the nation's breakdown by party. The speech audience questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll is about 8 to 10 points more Democratic than the general public.

Eighty-five percent of those polled said the president's speech made them feel more optimistic about the direction the country is headed in the next few years, with 11 percent indicating the speech made the feel more pessimistic.

Eighty-two percent of speech watchers say they support the economic plan Obama outlined in his prime-time address, with 17 percent opposing the proposals.

"These are great numbers for Obama, but they are no better or worse that Bill Clinton or George W. Bush got after their first speeches to Congress," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

For example, 82 percent said they support the proposals Obama outlined in his speech tonight. After Bill Clinton's first address to Congress in February, 1993, 79 percent of speech-watchers supported his policies. And George W. Bush got virtually the same amount of support for his proposals after his first speech eight years ago.

"That may mean that speech-watchers were rallying around the new president as much as they were rallying around his proposals," says Holland. "That may strike a cautionary note for the Obama White House, since Clinton's proposals in 1993 were initially well-received but quickly ran into trouble with Congress and the American public."

A big question is whether the address, which was watched by millions across the country, changed any minds.

"Among speech-watchers, the number who thought Obama's policies will move the country in the right direction grew by 17 points after they listened to Tuesday's address," says Holland.

Eight out of ten said the president's plans will succeed in improving the economy, and 68 percent feel his proposals will work in reducing the federal deficit.

Three out of four questioned say that Obama's plan will succeed in improving health care, and 82 percent feel that his proposals will create or save jobs across the country.

The survey included 484 speech-watchers questioned by telephone minutes after the president finished his address. The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

(Updated 11:30 p.m.)

Filed under: Extra • Obama address
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Ron , West Coast

    President Obama scores an A+ from me !!!

    February 25, 2009 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  2. Perry Sawchuck

    Dear Americans,

    We have a great President, someone who cares and with this, success will happen. Consider that sometimes in life when we look at children and we see potential, yet we know, that it will take some time for them to grow, do we give up, No, we do not, we always move forward. That's what Americans and Canadians share in common goodness and that's the key. You see, with inspiration, we create hope and with hope, this creates a confident environment and the outcome will always be favorable.

    Bobby Jindal, what's with the American southern accent? What? Does he think that we are going to buy something from him. He lacks sincerity and honesty...and that's not Leadership, that's ego and a person who preys on weakness. Be careful folks about that guy, he's not a good person.

    I sincerely hope that people will recognize the difference between honesty and demonetization for one's self worth.

    A Canadian Who Cares. about Politics and The World.

    Perry Sawchuck

    February 25, 2009 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  3. FilAm

    He delivered a "good" speech. But one thing is missing, CNN.
    Don't you guys usually post a huge BANNER in the politics page about FACT CHECK??? You made use of this most especially during the campaign period. I think everytime John McCain and/or Sarah Palin had an appearance, a huge FACT CHECK would appear in your site.. but now? oops. where did it go?

    I checked NBC and FOX News and they BOTH got AP's Fact Check up in their sites.

    Really, CNN. You guys make me wonder.
    I think only Toobin and Gloria Borger made very substantive and unbiased reviews, so far. We don't expect much from Barack Cafferty.

    February 25, 2009 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  4. Rajan

    No amount of lofty speeches and rhetoric will lift the country out of the financial abyss into which it has fallen unless the root causes of this calamity are diagnosed. But it appears that neither President Obama nor his army of advisors (who are, after all, the same people who were sleeping at the switch when the roof was coming down over their heads) seem to have acquired any meaningful insight into the underlying problems facing the financial institutions. In the midst of all the hue and cry about the astronomical losses being reported quarter on quarter by leading banks to the point of their possible extinction in this country and also in the rest of the world, no one has come out so far with a clear, intelligible and cogent explanation for this catastrophic phenomenon, which a common man/woman on the street can easily grasp and understand. There is indeed a virtual Babel going on over the whole issue. Is it not a bit strange that, in a country which boasts of having won a lion's share of Nobel prizes for Economics, there is not a single "expert" who really knows what caused the downfall of the so-called titans in the financial world. The financial institutions seem to be all suffering from a strange virus infection. Unless the virus is isolated and identified, no effective cure can be found and all the money that is poured into any stimulus plan will be just draining into a bottomless pit. The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke presents a pathetic picture of a mumbling and fumbling figure! Whenever the Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner opens his mouth, the Dow stock index takes a dive! The admittedly abnormal trend in defaults in payments on sub-prime (and even prime) mortgages and the consequent foreclosures alone could not have been the sole cause of this infection. Some other vices the institutions might have been surreptiously indulging in might have also had a crucial role . Is it possible that the banks and other financial institutions had been lending money they did not have (driven by insensate greed of the bank executives to earn fat bonuses) in the Micawberish hope that something would turn up to set things right in the end as long as they maintained the false façade of adequate liquidity in the system and that it would be a remote chance that they would be caught with their pants down as it has happened now? This would be the banking equivalent of naked shorting in stock trading (in which you sell stocks which you don't have in the hope of buying them back later at a cheaper price). This scam, if perfected, would be a Mach 2 version of the Ponzi schemes which Madoff and Stanford are accused of. Given the opaque and non-transparent nature of most of the transactions in the rarefied atmosphere of High Finance and the paranoiac secrecy with which the banks generally conduct their affairs and given also the callous and cavalier way in which the concerned regulatory authorities all over the world have been carrying out even their routine fiduciary responsibilities, anything would have been possible!

    February 25, 2009 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  5. Farnk, Las Vegas

    President Obama scored a perfect 10, while Gov. Jindal found the negative scoring ground, -3. Jindal starts out by saying that the government buying cars is not stimulative, what? Where does he think cars come from, trees? This guy must really be an idiot. Cars are built by People who Work for Companies. Buying cars means people Work, Companies Sell cars and make a profit so they can hire More People! Talk about someone who's out of touch. He also won't take the unemployment benefits in the stimulus bill for the people of his state. Hopefully the people of his state will remember that in 2010 when he's up for election again. Wouldn't it be funny if this so called rising star of the GOP for 2012 got beat in 2010. The rising star would just be a flaming star, along with being a flaming %@#$&%$!

    February 25, 2009 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  6. Deb

    God Bless you Mr. President and God Bless the USA

    February 25, 2009 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  7. RussVet

    Wait to the word gets out that Millions of illegal’s are being bailed out on house loans with the taxpayers $275B …. So this is where most all the risky subprime loans went that congress force on the banking industry … illegal’s and welfare people….. No wonder; the Dems want to buy their votes and get them amnesty … shameful. This is not acceptable….

    News… “Illegal aliens can apply for mortgage relief under the Obama administration's $275 billion plan, according to immigration experts and a group the government will use to help homeowners modify loans. Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., told WND approximately 1 million households headed by illegal immigrants acquired mortgages through the beginning of 2007, before the housing bubble burst. “

    February 25, 2009 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  8. Samantha in Riverdale

    I just love Obama!

    February 25, 2009 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  9. lou

    I'm glad that dumb idiot is dropping homeland security, I feel safer already, this idiot has played president for long enough, they need to kick his dirty butt out before he burns the white house down with a cigarette! Disgusting habit!

    February 25, 2009 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  10. survivor

    I can survive no matter what party is in the whtehouse – it is just refreshing to see a politition who cares about the people of this country and our standing in the world as opposed to all the special intrest and those clowns lurking behind closed doors. Bobby Jindall looked like old dracula movie when coming up hallway to speak his non-insiring rhetoric

    February 25, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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