Polls: Obama Won The Night
Instant public surveys on Barack Obama's address before Congress showed, by and large, that the public was incredibly receptive to his speech, regardless of political party. But that did not hold true for every single study.
A CBS News poll of approximately 500 people saw approval of the president rise from 62 percent before the speech to 69 percent afterward.
Meanwhile, a poll on CNN showed that 68 percent of respondents -- who skewed a bit Democratic -- viewed the speech positively, 24 somewhat positively, and only eight percent not positively. Eighty-two percent supported the president's economic plan as outlined in the speech, while 17 percent opposed it.
Those results were buttressed by the findings of longtime Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. In his own dial poll, which included 50 participants of mixed gender, education and politics, Greenberg found a large swath of bipartisan support for Obama's addres. That included a 14 percent jump, from 62 to 76 percent, in the favorability rating for the president.
Saying at the onset that this was an "immensely successful speech," he highlighted a few issues on which Obama won over the audience.
* On taxes, "there was a 26-point gain," from 38 to 64 percent, "the biggest gains that he made." * On the deficit, "there was an 18 point swing... from 42 percent to 60 percent." * On Iraq, "there was a 18-point swing" (no numbers were offered)
"I've never seen this," Greenberg added. For a large part of the speech, all three, the Republican, Democratic and independent line where virtually in the same place."
What was striking, Greenberg concluded, was "how un-polarized the reaction was to this speech. I have not quite seen that."
He should tell that to the generally conservative Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research group. Mike Maslansky, the CEO of that firm, when speaking with the Huffington Post, said he found "some of the biggest partisan divides that we ever see" in the reaction to Obama's address.
In a survey of 29 registered Democrats and Republicans in suburban Virginia, who Maslansky said were ALL generally skittish about Obama's economic plans and housing proposals, Obama managed to win over a large chunk of the crowd. Eleven respondents, nine of whom were Democrats, thought that the speech exceeded expectations. Only three thought it failed to meet expectations, all of whom were Republicans. But the responses often broken down by political affiliation.
Talk on the stimulus, Maslansky said, proved most divisive, as did talk of repairing the housing industry and, more generally, health care reform.
On energy, Obama won bipartisan plaudits, as he did when he emphasized personal responsibility both for parents dealing with their kids' education and politicians dealing with on pet interests.
"Overall, we saw some of the biggest partisan divides that we ever see in political speeches," Maslansky concluded. "The Democrats loved almost everything Obama had to say, the Republicans hated almost everything Obama had to say. There were certainly areas that Obama had working for both groups, but what was startling is just how divided people are when hearing these issues."