After a power struggle with Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over delivering his second State of the Union Address, President Trump got his chance to speak directly to the American people Tuesday night — and, according to the results of polls from the mainstream news networks, it turned out to be a huge win for the president. Three out of four viewers approved of the speech, with about the same number agreeing with Trump on his big ticket items, including immigration and foreign policy.
Both CNN and CBS News conducting their own surveys and found that more than three-quarters of viewers approved of Trump’s big speech — and both made sure to try to undercut the news.
In a moment reported by Grabien, CNN Political Director David Chalian broke the news to the left-leaning outlet’s’ viewers that 76% of those who watched Trump’s speech approved of it. As CBS News will also make a point of doing, Chalian began by underscoring that more Republicans watched the speech than Democrats.
“So I just want to stress here for a state of the union address, the president’s president’s partisans, his supporters tend to turn out to watch the speech,” Chalian said on air Tuesday night. “This is true of a president of either party. Tonight we saw a heavily skewed Republican audience turn out to watch the president’s speech.”
After making sure to lead with that key point, Chalian finally got to the numbers: “But look at this. A very positive reaction from those who watched the speech tonight. 59% very positive. 17% somewhat positive. 23% negative. I want you to see that very positive number, how that compares to Donald Trump’s performances in the last couple of years when he has given a speech to a joint session of Congress like this. You’ll see that he was again at 59%. He was down at 48% very positive a year ago. Back when he first started the job and he addressed the Congress, he was at 57%. So he is back up. … This is a speech-watching audience that was more receptive this year than last year what they saw.”
Having publicly acknowledged something very positive for Trump, Chalian quickly found something negative to say about the speech. “Here’s the rub. Even this very favorable audience to Donald Trump does not believe his call for bipartisanship is going to meet with succes,” said Chalian. “Take a look. Will Donald Trump increase bipartisan cooperation? A majority of speech watchers, again, a heavily Republican audience, 53% say no. 39% say yes. So all that talk of bipartisanship seems to be being met by with the people who watch the speech by a healthy dose of skepticism …”
After interviewing 1,472 viewers, CBS News revealed that 76% of those who watched approved of the speech, with just 24% disapproving.
CBS found that 97% of Republicans approved of Trump’s speech, as did 30% of Democrats, and a remarkable 82% of independents.
Viewers overwhelmingly agreed with Trump’s biggest agenda items: 72% of viewers agreed with him on the need to reform immigration, 71% agreed that we are indeed facing a crisis at the border, and 74% agreed with him on his handling of troops in the Middle East.
Like CNN, in its summary of its finding, CBS made sure to quickly point out that “as is often the case in State of the Union addresses, the people who watched tonight’s speech leaned more towards the president’s own party, at least compared to Americans overall.” About 43% of the viewers were Republicans, while 24% were Democrats and 30% were independents.
CBS also stressed that “just a third said what they heard in the speech made them think Mr. Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will work together more going forward. Sixty-three percent said there wouldn’t be much change.”