President Obama’s State of the Union address was very moderate and uncontroversial. It turns out that it was also very popular. According to a CBS News poll of people who watched the address, 91% approved of the President’s remarks.
According to the poll, 91% of those surveyed approved of Obama’s remarks, and only 9% disapproved. In 2010, in the same poll, 83% of those surveyed approved, and 17% disapproved. Obama’s got better marks on his plans for the economy in 2011 than he did in 2010. Last year, 70% liked Obama’s plan for the economy. Before the address tonight, 53% approved of Obama’s economic plan, but that number increased to 82% after the address.
Not surprisingly, more Democrats than Republicans watched the speech. 44% of those surveyed were Democrats and 25% were Republican. This is a common trend as all State of the Unions are watched more heavily by the president’s own party than others. Because of the mostly friendly audience watching at home, president’s usually tend to grade out 80%+ range for the State of the Union. Breaking 90% is really good. Obama almost obtained unanimous approval among viewers for his remarks.
I think the reason why Obama did so well was the moderate tone of his address. A quick sampling of the cable news pundit reaction showed that progressive activists like Adam Green of the PCCC were already complaining that Obama didn’t fight enough during the address. Presidents usually don’t confront and fight during the State of the Union, and what Mr. Green doesn’t seem to understand is that America doesn’t want Obama to be fighting during the State of the Union. He, not the President, is out of step with the mood of the country.
Obama is gaining in popularity for a reason. This nation likes optimistic and visionary messages like what Obama spoke about. They don’t want to hear partisan battling. They are interested in hearing about how things are going to get done. According to this poll Obama hit it out of the park tonight, but that won’t stop the partisans on both sides from ignoring what the American people may really want so that they can continue their ideological death match for time infinitum. America is changing and the partisans on both sides had better figure this out.