CBS NEWS POLL For release: January 25th, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reaction to the 2011 State of the Union: Approval of Economic Plans, Optimism for Bipartisanship January 25th, 2011 A CBS News Poll of Americans who watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech, conducted online by Knowledge Networks immediately after the address, finds viewers generally positive about the economic proposals he laid out in the speech and optimistic about the prospects for bipartisanship in Congress. Overall, 91% of speech watchers approve of the proposals the President made in his speech. Just 9% disapprove – typical of the high support a president generally receives among those who choose to watch the State of the Union. Last year, 83% of viewers approved of President Obama’s plans at the time. Proposals in the speech (Among speech viewers) Approve Disapprove

91% 9

As is often the case, those who watched the speech were more likely to be from the President’s party. After the speech, there were also significant increases in approval of the President’s plans in a number of specific areas. On his plans for the economy, just 53% of speech watchers approved before the speech; that rose to 82% after the speech. There were similar increases in approval of his plans for the deficit and Afghanistan. Approval of Obama’s Plans for… After The economy 82% The deficit 80% Afghanistan 83%

Before 53% 45% 57%

The sight of Democrats and Republicans sitting side by side gave speech watchers confidence about cooperation: 62% say they expect more bipartisanship now than in years past. Expect Congressional Democrats and Republicans to Work Together More Now? Yes 62% No 38 In his speech, the President mentioned limiting federal spending. 56% of speech watchers think his economic plans will reduce government spending; 43% are not convinced.

Yes No

Will Obama’s Plans Reduce Spending? (Among speech viewers) 56% 43

But President Obama had more success convincing viewers that his economic plans would make the U.S. competitive, and lead to jobs. 75% of speech watchers think the President’s plans would make America more competitive in the world economy. Will Obama’s Plans Make U.S. Economy More Competitive? (Among speech viewers) Yes 75% No 24 He also convinced more speech watchers that his economic plans would create jobs: after the speech, 75% think his economic plans will create jobs, up from 55% before the speech. Will Obama’s Plans Create Jobs? (Among speech viewers) After Before 75% 55%

Yes No

President Obama defended the new health care law, but that did not substantially boost approval of the bill among speech watchers. Views of Health Care Bill After 65%

Approve Disapprove

Before 56%

Americans who watched the speech are more Democratic than the nation as a whole. That is not surprising; historically, a President’s supporters are more likely than his opponents to watch State of the Union addresses. 44% of speech viewers in this poll are Democrat and 25% are Republican. In the most recent CBS News/NY Times poll of all Americans, conducted , the breakdown is more even between the parties: 34% Democrat and 27% Republican. Speech Viewers And Americans’ Party Affiliation Viewers All Americans Democrat 44% 34% Republican 25 27 Independent 31 39
_____________________________________________________________________________________ This CBS News Poll was conducted online by Knowledge Networks among a nationwide random sample of 659 viewers of the President’s State of the Union Address. Knowledge Networks, a Silicon Valley company, conducted the poll among a sample of adult members of its household panel who said in recent days that they intended to watch the speech. The Knowledge Networks panel is a nationally representative sample given access to the Internet. This is a scientifically representative poll of viewers’ reaction to the speech. The margin of sampling error could be plus or minus 4 percentage points for the entire sample of speech watchers.

CBS NEWS POLL State of the Union January 25, 2011
Q2. In general, do you approve or disapprove of the proposals the President made in his speech tonight? ** SPEECH WATCHERS ** 91% 9

Approve Disapprove

Q4. From what you have seen or heard, do you generally approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s plans for dealing with … Before The federal budget deficit? Approve Disapprove Afghanistan? Approve Disapprove The economy? Approve Disapprove After

45% 55

80% 20

57% 42

83% 16

53% 46

82% 18

Q5. Regardless of what you hope will happen, do you think Barack Obama’s economic plans… Before Will reduce government spending? Yes No Will create jobs? Yes No After

n/a n/a 55% 45

56% 43 75% 25

Will make the U.S. more competitive in the world? Yes n/a No n/a

75% 24

Q5a. From what you've heard or read, how do you feel about the new health care law that was passed last year? Do you… Before 18% 38 19 25 After 25% 40 19 16

Strongly Somewhat Somewhat Strongly

approve approve disapprove disapprove

Q7. Do you think Congressional Republicans and Democrats will work together more this year than they have in the recent past, or not? ** SPEECH WATCHERS ** 62% 38 Generally speaking, do you usually consider yourself a:

Yes No Q8.

Republican Democrat Independent/Other

Speech Watchers 25% 44 31

All Americans (CBS/NYT Poll) 27% 34 39

*Note: Some numbers do not add to 100% due to rounding

Total Speech Watchers: Margin of error:

659 4 pts

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