January 27th, 2010
11:44 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Half of speech watchers have very positive reaction

Washington (CNN) - Nearly half of Americans who watched President Obama's State of the Union address said they had a very positive reaction to his speech, according to a poll of people who viewed the address.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicated that 48 percent of speech watchers had a very positive reaction, with three in 10 saying they had a somewhat positive response and 21 percent with a negative response.

Full Results [PDF]

The 48 percent who indicated they had a very positive response is down 20 points from the 68 percent of speech watchers who felt the same way a year ago about the president's February 24 prime time address to a joint session of Congress.

"Wednesday night's State of the Union audience is more Democratic than the nation as a whole, but speech-watchers were less Democratic this year than they were last year," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That may be one reason why the number who gave his speech a 'very positive' rating is lower this year. But part of the reason also may be that speech-watchers didn't necessarily hear a new agenda and aren't confident that the president can improve health care or lower the deficit."

Two-thirds of speech-watchers who were questioned said the president will succeed in improving the economy, with nearly six in 10 saying he'll succeed in creating jobs. But people who viewed the address were split on whether Obama will be successful in improving health care and reducing the deficit.

According to the poll, speech-watchers are split on whether the address shows that the president will change his administration's goals, with 49 percent saying the speech is proof Obama will move in a new direction, while 50 percent disagreed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted after Obama's address, with 400 adult Americans who watched the speech. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

"The poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the speech," Holland said.

The sample of speech-watchers in the poll were 38 percent Democratic and 25 percent Republican. Those numbers indicate that the sample is about four to six points more Democratic than the population as a whole. The audience for Obama's February 2009 speech was 47 percent Democratic and 21 percent Republican.

The poll also indicated that before the speech, 53 percent of people questioned said they thought Obama's policies will move the country in the right direction. That increased to 71 percent when questioned after the speech.

"All in all, Obama had a definite affect on his audience," Holland added.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

soundoff (60 Responses)

    Last I checked 48% of voters who supported President Obama didn't constitute 50% of opinion. Just a fact. 50% is 50% percent. Albeit a symantic but if you the press are supposed just deliver the news and not slant it, I would say you're not doing your job.

    January 28, 2010 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  2. Paolo Galupo

    This is doomsday for America! Obama is pro-Wall Street, Wall Street benefit from the Stimulus Package where CEOs and officials received bonuses. "Dont Ask, Dont Tell" policy which he favor to repeal is not with in the level of the military strategy and war plans. A strong army or military is composed of brave men and women of the U.S. Military. Who will be the first gay general? As for economy? Fiscal reform will benefit the CEOs and money is wasted, the tax payers' money. Real change is OBAMA to quit. America is less safe and the world, appointing some head departments with not so related experience to their work. For Health Care, billions of money will be wasted because Americans are not fun of saving money, they are fun of spending money. Democrats in the both houses are losing seats because of unpopular bill passages. One thing to be clear for OBAMA: QUIT the JOB.

    January 28, 2010 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  3. weridedout

    That's really weird because everyone I have talked to, listened to, or read comments gave a negative reaction to the address(including me).

    "The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted after Obama's address, with 400 adult Americans who watched the speech. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
    "The poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the speech," Holland said."

    I like how you admit that it was a poll of only 400 people, but turn around and in the next line make a statement as if everyone who watched the speech in America was reflected in the poll.

    January 28, 2010 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  4. Spado

    This must be some biased pool they have questioned. Frankly I could barely stand to watch the speech. It was full of the same empty promises and subterfuge we have heard for a year or more. The promise to proceed on the abysmal cap and trade plan wa the most disappointing thing of all. See you in 2010 I guess.

    January 28, 2010 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  5. Anonymous

    President Obama made me proud! I loved his constant reminder to both parties that they hold there places as public servants and that they have to do their jobs with the people in mind and start making changes! As he stated we aren't being affected by the economy it's the middle class that is and we are hanging on by a thread.

    January 28, 2010 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  6. vwrtb

    After George dubbya... What do you expect...

    January 28, 2010 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  7. Marry

    The GOP response to the President’s speech is more of what the GOP represents. They are the ones who “invested” very badly in a war for profit and brought the country to the brink and they now want the President (speak the America people – who else?) to pay for it. They do not care for the average American people. No real education (but wanting THEM to stop breeding) no real healthcare (a good new system might lessen their profits), no real buildup of infrastructure (the roads to their houses are paved) no effort on energy efficiency (their stocks are with oil and nuclear) no international cooperation (unless there is even more money to be made into their pockets (never mind jobs for Americans), demanding tough treatment of terrorist (instigating fear) and the list goes on………. And all of it under the umbrella of Christian and family values and “freedom” hoping the American people will fall for it again….

    January 28, 2010 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    My god CNN, you are trying to correlate polls from February 2009 with a poll today as having relevance, and meaning and you of all people say regularly and your pundits a wek in politics is a long time.
    Give it up please it's an insult to even the weakest of intelligence whatever your objectives in drawing such comparisons. Any " conclusions" therefrom are a fallacy!! And I'm a statistician and I know as well as most if not better how to make lies of damned lies and statistics or get them to appear to say what you want unless understand all sorts of statistical assumptions underlying the poll and the accuracy of themix of selected poll respondents, some of whom may have lied!!
    Waste of money at this time being so called firs to Know leads to the biggest inacuracy!!

    January 28, 2010 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  9. Lisa

    People need to grow up! The look at Obama like he's super human. He will take office after Bush took us into a recession. The day he step foot in the oval office...all the jobs was just going to reappear...the economy would have the same trillion dollar surplus before Bush took office...healthcare would be perfect everyone would have free healthcare...the Republicans and Democrates would be friends and pass every bill...everyone would live happily ever after. One question, did anyone put this pressure on Bush when he took us to war based on a lie?

    January 28, 2010 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  10. chris l


    January 28, 2010 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
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