As President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, a group of 50 swing voters armed with dial meters recorded strongly favorable reactions to his proposals on taxes, renewable energy, overcoming partisan divisions and defending the middle class, according to the pollsters who supervised the study.
The group, made up of Democrats, Republicans and independents, including both McCain and Obama voters from 2008, gave the president significantly higher marks after the speech than before on whether he will stand up for the middle class, whether he can be trusted on energy policy and on measures of empathy, such as whether he shares voters’ values and “makes me hopeful,” said Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg.
Such focus group reactions are “greater than what you see in real life” because people assembled in a conference room and instructed to watch a speech pay considerably more attention than the average viewer, noted Greenberg, who has conducted such studies for each State of the Union speech dating back to the Bill Clinton administration. Still, the reactions provide a rough gauge of the speech’s overall impact, he said.
“The most surprising” aspect of the reaction was “the lack of polarization” among the voters, he added. The speech has provoked a highly partisan reaction in Washington, but among the swing voters in the study, “the Democratic, Republican and independent lines” from the dial meters “tracked through most of the speech,” Greenberg said. “He captured people broadly.”
Not surprisingly, the moment in the speech that brought the most positive reaction was Obama’s mention of the death of Osama bin Laden. It drew an average reading of 80 on the 0-100 scale used by the meters. Obama’s call for more investment in renewable energy drew nearly as strong a reaction, however, said Andrew Baumann, another of the pollsters who conducted the study. The passages of the speech that talked about phasing out subsidies for oil companies and competing with China and Germany for new developments in wind power and solar energy did particularly well.
Not all the marks were positive. Although the voters reacted well to the speech, they remained skeptical that Obama would be able to achieve the goals he set out. When the speech ended, just under half said he was offering “realistic” proposals while about 60% said he would probably not be able to get his proposals accomplished. Both measures were slightly better than before the speech, but reflected voters’ doubts about Obama’s ability to break through Washington’s gridlock. And although the speech moved Obama’s overall job approval upward among the voters studied, the shift was small, from 50% favorable to 58%.
OT: Basically, by a hefty majority of those that have been polled, people like Obama as a person. And that includes a number who've given him an unfavorable assessment for performance. (In another life, umpteen years ago, I let go three different people, all with PhD's, for inadequate performance. And I really liked them personally. So I don't regard the foregoing as a contradiction.) Now I'm pretty cynical about the voting populace and their grasp and interest in the complexity of important issues that can be steered by a president. But easily felt likability does bear considerable weight. So if Gingrich faces Obama, regardless of issues, he's in a jam. And Romney's increasing inability to come off as a guy in touch with the average voter's life will be a weapon that the Democrats will bludgeon him with. I find it quite disheartening that such superficiality is a key determiner of who becomes the next president. Nevertheless, despite an improving but still wicked economy, I'd bet that Obama waltzes into November as the favorite and takes the prize.
Looking just at other elected presidents' third-year averages, Obama's 44% is among the lowest, better than only Jimmy Carter's 37% average in 1979-1980. Ronald Reagan's third-year average of 45% was similar to Obama's.
I guess the real question is what group is claiming going from 50% going to 58% approval accurate?
Chant on OLB troop! Chatter on!
Wednesday Rasmussen poll:
In potential 2012 match-ups, it’s Obama 46% and Romney at 43%. If Gingrich is the GOP opponent, the president leads 48% to 41%. These tracking poll numbers are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern
Rick Santorum trails the president by eight points, 48% to 40%. Ron Paul trails by ten, 47% to 37%. Numbers for Santorum and Paul are being updated every week.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll
Americans approve of the job their 44th president is doing by a narrow 48-46 percent margin, Obama’s first positive rating since last June. Forty-five percent say they approve of the President’s handling of the economy, an unspectacular showing but higher than he has received for a half-year.
Congress still gets rock-bottom ratings.
By a 13-80 percent margin, the public disapprove of the job that lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are doing.
According to the poll, which was conducted online by Knowledge Networks immediately after the president’s address, 91 percent of those who watched the speech approved of the proposals Mr. Obama put forth during his remarks. Only nine percent disapproved.
Last year, 83 percent of viewers approved of Mr. Obama’s State of the Union remarks.
Hart Research Group poll
Based on our dial session with 28 voters in Columbus, Ohio, President Obama’s State of the Union speech was an exceptionally strong performance, leaving viewers with a clear impression of him as a strong leader who cares about the middle class and offers good ideas and solutions for America’s future. Voters’ positive reception of the speech’s core themes suggests that they will serve as a solid foundation for the President in the months ahead, in framing both his policy agenda and the case for his reelection.
Overall, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) at least somewhat disapprove.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) believe that creating jobs is more important than protecting the environment.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Likely Republican Primary voters believe that Gingrich's ethics are at least as good as most politicians. That's less an endorsement of Gingrich than a reflection of how voters view politicians.
George H Bush had just won the first Iraq war and had an approval rating of 90 percent with 9 months to go before the election. He lost to Clinton. The pollsters called the first Reagan election "too close to call" the day before the election and Reagan won in a landslide. I wouldn't pay too much attention to approval ratings.
JFK seldom receives proper credit for his most successful economic program. The Space program captured the imagination of our youth and they eagerly became engineers driving our economy to sustained competitive advantage.
Obama with his vision of redistribution in the style of a social justice before personal accomplishment Saul D. Alinsky community organizer is fundamentally different.
What happened to the Democratic Party that believed in policy aimed at broad based economic opportunity and the rising tide to lifts all boats? Instead we have the self indulgent libertines of the 60s with polysci degrees functioning like self entitling and enabling parasites allowing the poor scraps from the majesty of their power.
I can no pride in exhausting your empty head’s resources. So the vision of blasts of spittle ejecting from the ropes of drunken drool coating your pecksniffian face does not bring me joy. Even at a safe distance of thousands of miles.
obama = empty suit deflates AGAIN! It's embarrassing to hear these great plans (for election votes only) with no substance. He has a history of making promises for great things with no actual plan, then scramble to throw some pos proposal together that either makes no sense or has no real impact.
At the top of the bs list is this jewel." I want more borrowed money TODAY or the world will end BUT, BUT, BUT, I'll pay the tax payers back 10 years from now, and get back to you with the plan."
No budget, no real plan, lots of promises, in fact he will promise anything to anybody. If you believe him again, you have just made a deal with the devil and the country is socialist. My God, he is dealing better in real terms with Chavez than he is with our oil industry. Remember, he said we should drill off the eastern coast and have a REAL ENERGY POLICY. What he did was shut us down and give Chavez $2 billion plus to a industry that used to belong to private industry. He said he would be transparent and then he passed the majority of the bills he got passed at midnight on Friday night. His hope has cost us TRILLIONS and we are 2 years from becoming GREECE. DON'T BELIEVE THE DEVIL!
obama has an energy plan. Borrow more money and loan it to Brazil so THEY can develop THEIR energy resources. obama says, "we want to be your best customer."
All you obama lovers defy gravity. You wouldn't know the truth if it hit you between the eyes!!!
They do understand. Their ethical value system is relative so rationality and reason are not part of their character. Nothing beyond their self interest and often they are so delusional that protection of their self assumed and false intellectual superiority is their only interest.
Resort to any deception or petty trick no matter how transparent to protect their delusion.