President Joe Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU) speech received lower “very positive” ratings than his predecessors’ speeches — including former President Donald Trump’s — a CNN survey found.
According to CNN’s survey, 72 percent reported feeling at least somewhat positive about Biden’s speech, and of those, 38 percent felt “very” positive.
However, that is lower than the average for past presidents. Trump’s SOTU speech average, for example, saw 74 expressing a positive view, but of those, 54 percent felt “very” positive about it, compared to the 38 percent who said the same of Biden’s Tuesday speech.
Further the average of those who viewed former President Barack Obama’s SOTU speeches and former President George Bush’s speeches as “very” positive were 50 percent and 53 percent, respectively. Additionally, an average of 54 percent viewed former President Bill Clinton’s SOTU speeches “very” positively as well.
The survey found most Democrats, 62 percent, having a “very” positive reaction to Biden’s speech. Biden also saw positive ratings from those 65 and older, with 52 percent viewing the address as “very” positive. However, the 80-year-old failed to garner the same reaction among other generations, as just 21 percent of those 45 or younger reported a “very” positive reaction to the speech.
Watch below as Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla) gives his take on “boring Biden”
State of the Union addresses rarely have major, lasting impact on presidents’ approval numbers, particularly in recent years. But Biden’s speech did bolster confidence in his policies among some who tuned in. Following the speech, 71 percent of speech watchers said they felt the policies Biden proposed would move the country in the right direction, versus 29 percent who said they would move things in the wrong direction.
In a survey conducted before the speech, those same people were closer to evenly split (52 percent right direction, 47 percent wrong direction).
The biggest movement came among those who were skeptical of Biden to begin with. Among those who said in the pre-speech survey that they disapproved of the way Biden is handling his presidency, just seven percent said before the speech that they thought Biden’s proposed policies would move the country in the right direction, rising to 45 percent post-speech. And among political independents, the share saying Biden’s policies would move the country in the right direction rose from 40 percent pre-speech to 66 percent afterwards.
The CNN survey, conducted by SSRS, was taken among 552 U.S. adults who watch the president’s address. It has a +/- 5.7 percent margin of error.
Biden’s speech featured several moments of note, as he mistakenly referred to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as minority leader, asserted freedom from the grip of the coronavirus without mentioning his attempts to prolong it via mask and vaccine mandates, and paused at one point after Republicans shouted “secure the border” during the address.
Read the full text of Biden’s SOTU speech here.