September 10th, 2009
06:08 PM ET
14 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. manhandler

    Why even do a poll like that and then trumpet it as a big swing? What a joke. The big clueon this story is that the same thing hapened after Clintons healthcare speech right before the thing went down in flames. Obama is trying to lead on this now? Is that what they call a day late and a dollar short. We allready know all the kool aid drinkers swoon every time he reads a speech. So let's poll all the kool aid drinkers and pretend that's a big swing. Show me something that he's done that is action and not words.

    September 10, 2009 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  2. Jon in VA

    WoW the speech ended at 8pm and a poll is already out less than 4 hours after. I am glad they polled a wide variety of people to get this results. Good, what a joke.

    September 10, 2009 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  3. Leeannle

    As a mother of two young adult boys who don't have insurance... and I've been layed off of a job after 10 years. We need an option, we currently don't have an option at this time. Something needs to change. Please help it change!

    September 10, 2009 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  4. Motive

    Those elected congressmen that do not support the public option should opt out of there government run health care plans

    Support the Public Option

    If it’s good for them, then its good for the American people

    September 10, 2009 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  5. Lloyd

    What a crappy headline versus the real body of the story. You should be ashamed- plying bliss to the ignorant masses who only read headlines.

    September 10, 2009 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  6. Eileen

    I never leave comments or blog etc......... I watch CNN etc quite a lot and I did see "OUR" President's Speech. and the aftermath........................and it Hurts me that in this day & age elected officials???? Have to act the way they do!!!!

    I could go on forever would be in vain & I won't.............................I'm so pissed I just want to say a zillion things but the dis---RESPECT this president has gotten is a shame.............????????????

    Forget it............I'm upset about the whole thing

    History will determine????

    September 10, 2009 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  7. Capsaicin

    We saw the same kind of overall approval from 'everyday Americans' during the campaign. Republicans and media folk would spin their webs of cynicism about Obama failing and his speeches a 'failure' and then the polls would reveal majority approval and 'Obama won'.

    Likewise healthcare reform: multitudinous lies and negativism, but in the end Obama's plan is what Americans turn out to want. He appeals to American's tolerant and generous spirit, not selfishness and fear.

    September 10, 2009 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  8. Erick

    President Obama's health reform speech was excellent. I will support public option because I like what I heard what he had to say. I trust him. He is our hopeful. Most of the people missed what he said, "if you like doctor. Keep it. If you like your insurance. you keep it." That is simple! Use their common sense. Go pass for the health-care public option now than later.

    September 10, 2009 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  9. Thanos Trezos

    I have very good health insurance plan and I don't count on the President's plan for my insurance to get any better. However, I fully support the President's efforts for a health care reform because health care is a moral issue. A family's health care should never depend on the family's wealth. Health care is a human right and the government should guarantee it to all citizens.

    September 10, 2009 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  10. MrManhattan

    "The poll surveyed the opinions of people who watched Wednesday night's speech, and does not reflect the views of all Americans."

    That's the problem with politics today. Those who lack the initiative, or intelligence to actually pay attention still get to vote.

    September 10, 2009 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  11. Neil

    Yeah, thats great, but we still can't afford the 900 billion dollar price tag right now. Are any politicians still living on planet earth? Bush was bad on the budget, I think we can all agree on that, But Obama has been a nightmare on the budget and seems unable to stop spending. He is like some type of spending addict. Sometimes you just have to say, "We can't afford it". Congress repeat after me..."we can't afford it"

    September 10, 2009 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  12. Sam

    wake up America and go with common sense that Obama represents, listen to your senses and go with it, forget the Heckling party .. that is the best they can offer Americans .. rudness & division

    September 10, 2009 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  13. Fred

    What are the results of the Foxnews/Opinion Research Corporation poll? I bet you he lost a lot of independents tonight. People like me who honestly believed he was a "Centrist" when he was campaigning. I haven't see a more partisan speech in years! He lost my vote!

    September 10, 2009 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  14. Yobee

    The President's finest pubic policy speech to date. In spite of the unspeakably childish and disrespectful outburst from Representative Wilson, President Obama forcefully made his points and uplifted the debate once again to policy over politics. Now, let's leave the hyperbole behind and get the job done.

    September 10, 2009 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  15. Carl A Mendarino Jr

    When the President stated ..'no free insurance' for illigal immigrants,
    your 'Fact Check' ruled FALSE. But the review of the proposed bill
    specifically states that there will be 'no subsudies' for illegals...but they
    may be required to PURCHASE insurance.
    Isn't that exactly what we are looking for from these illegals, come forth
    and be accountable, register, and pay taxes AND for benefits?

    September 10, 2009 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  16. Allen Albrecht

    Support for Obama's health care reform, is not only necessary, it is the right thing to do. If we do not care about the down trodden and the less fortunate among us, we should hang our heads in shame. The rest of the world is watching, and they are judging us, as to our character as a nation.

    September 10, 2009 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  17. Holly

    The Republicans drag us down with them every time because of their fear of something new, something good, something different. God forbid they spare a buck out of their greedy pockets for the good of all! All Western Countries have Universal Health Care. Sweden, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland etc. But us? No. Why? Because Republicans are afraid of it. Do we have to be dragged back with them all the time? Must we always suffer because of the paranoid few gumming up the works? IS IT RIGHT ONE PERSON CAN LIVE SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE BETTER INSURANCE THAN ANOTHER? HOW CAN WE JUSTIFY THIS IS OK? ARE WE A BARBARIAN COUNTRY? Seems so. We drop off sick people without Insurance on the street! Left to die alone and in pain! This is OK with you people!? PLEASE! AND THE IRONIC PART IS MOST REPUBLICANS CLAIM THEY ARE SUCH RELIGIOUS PEOPLE! HA! JESUS WOULD BE FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE! ALL REPUBLICANS ARE SUCH PIOUS HYPOCRITES!

    September 10, 2009 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  18. D. Tree

    Actually a lot of Independents likely watched the speech – I wouldn't be surprised to see a bump in his approval from Independent voters.

    September 10, 2009 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  19. Jerry

    I find it regrettable that there are people who let their party affiliation color even their decision makin process and their ability to think for themselves.

    September 10, 2009 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  20. pete

    It was an impressive speach until you start looking at the absurdity of the claims.

    It will cost 900 billion but not add to the deficit!?!?!?!?!? Bull.

    The federal Government is going to save money by opening a new agency!?!?!?!?!? Bull.

    He'll get a bump in the polls because he is a smooth talker but once people actually digest what he said they will see his crazy plan for what it is... Bull.

    September 10, 2009 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  21. Ron Bennett

    I watched and was relieved that some of the ugly political banter and lies brewing over the last month were answered by the President. That being said the lie thrown at the president by Joe Wilson of South Carolina the republican house member shows disrespect for the office and should be condemned by both parties and the perpetrator should be censored. I just can't wait to hear what spin Rush Limbaugh is going to put on defending that disrespectful outburst.

    I am little confused as far as illegal aliens getting health insurance under the new health bill goes. Wilson accused Obama of lying should remember under George Bush they were getting free health benefits anyway he never had the guts to call Bush a liar on national TV.

    September 10, 2009 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  22. John Burik

    The "You lie" comment was from Joe Wilson, R-SC. He's already apologized.

    September 10, 2009 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  23. Dante

    I've read all the comments, watched the ratings, and I think minorities are not being considered here. Here we have a great President that's trying to bring this country together and get criticized for the effort. I'm from Clarksdale, MS. I've lived here all my life and it sickens me to know people that don't have any kind of coverage get a band aid at the ER and put out like a dog. We as a country will never be able to come together! The talk about the future, if the future comes, the next generation will keep the old habits that are being displayed. The rich stays rich and the poor just deal with it. And yes I am a business owner that's willing sacrifice in order for the next person to get medical coverage. Americans stop being selfish.

    September 10, 2009 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
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