Political News

Speech audience was most partisan since 2001

Posted February 6, 2019 12:11 a.m. EST

— President Donald Trump's State of the Union address drew a deeply Republican audience which largely gave the President strong reviews for his address from the House chamber, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

About 6 in 10 speech-watchers had a very positive reaction to the President's speech, better than the 48% who reacted that well last year and around the same as the 57% very positive mark in 2017.

Related: Full poll results

The audience had the largest partisan tilt measured in any CNN instant poll following a presidential address to Congress dating back to 2001. Viewers this year were roughly 17 points more likely than the general public to identify as Republicans and were largely fans of the President. In pre-speech surveys, 61% of speech-watchers said they approved of the job he was doing as President, compared with 40% in CNN's latest representative survey of all American adults.

Even among this pro-Trump audience, however, a majority said they did not think the President would succeed in increasing cooperation between Democrats and Republicans -- 53% said Trump would not succeed in that effort, while 39% said that he would.

A quarter of speech-watchers felt the proposals in the speech were too conservative, but two-thirds considered them about right. And the President improved over last year's marks on whether his policies would move the country in the right direction overall (71% say so) and on the economy (76% right direction now), trade (70%), national security (70%), immigration (68%) and taxes (65%).

SPECIAL NOTE OF CAUTION: This poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the speech.