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President Biden’s first official State of the Union is now in the books.
Instant polling shows his remarks Tuesday evening received a less enthusiastic response than both former Presidents Obama and Trump’s first speeches.
The majority of Americans who watched, 71%, did have at least a somewhat positive reaction to the president’s remarks to a joint session Congress, however, according to CNN instant polling. Of those, 41% polled said they felt very positive about Biden’s remarks.
According to CNN, Biden received the lowest “very positive” score CNN has seen in about 15 years of instant polling after presidents’ State of the Union addresses.
The response to Biden’s speech was even lower than the response to another speech before Congress Biden gave back in April last year, after which 78% of Americans polled had a positive reaction and 51% had a very positive reaction.
It should be noted also, these polls only take into account people who tuned in to watch the State of the Union, and those viewers tend to be a friendly audience.
Despite a healthy majority approving of Biden’s speech, the numbers are lackluster when compared to both Trump and Obama’s first State of the Union addresses.
In 2018, when Trump gave his first address, 48% of Americans who watched his speech said they felt very positive about it. Obama got the same 48% positive results in his first State of the Union in 2010. Both results are seven points higher than Biden’s 41%.
Meanwhile, Biden’s job approval continues to sink. Currently, his job approval sits just under 41%, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. About 54% of Americans disapprove of the way Biden is doing his job right now.
Biden did get some good marks on his policy proposals. About 67% of those who watched the speech said that they think Biden’s proposals would move the country in the right direction, compared to 33% who said they would move the country in the wrong direction. Before his speech, that group was closer to split, with only 52% saying they think the president’s policy proposals would steer the country in the right direction.
However, the president faces an uphill battle with his poll numbers on a multitude of issues, including inflation, the southern border, and the current crisis in Ukraine.
Biden’s speech touched on a range of issues, starting with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin, vowing that Russia would “pay a price” for its invasion.
During the second half of his speech, the president attempted to breathe new life into his failed “Build Back Better” plan, which was rejected by Congress.
A bipartisan moment occurred when Biden called for funding rather than defunding the police, saying that law enforcement needs the “resources and training they need to protect their communities.”
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