MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump’s measured tone in his address to a joint session of Congress played well across party lines.
That’s according to a CBS News poll which found viewers nationwide strongly approved of Trump’s speech, with many Democrats joining Republicans in calling it “Presidential” and positive in tone. Republicans and Independents found it “unifying,” though Democrats were slower to come around on that measure.
Those interviewed before and after the address said they came away from it more positive on his ideas for the economy, immigration, terrorism, crime, and Obamacare.
While half of Democrats did find the speech “divisive,” about one-third of them also said Trump was “specific” and “knowledgeable.” Both terms drew sizeable numbers compared to the more negative reactions that they’ve had to other aspects of his presidency.
The survey found more Republicans than Democrats watched the speech and they described a president as someone who was keeping campaign promises and offering an “inspiring” message. Of the Democrats who watched the speech, 40-percent approved of it and 18-percent ‘strongly’ approved of it.
The poll found more people favored the president’s plans for a number of policy issues after watching the speech. The percent favoring his plans for fighting terrorism, addressing crime, improving the economy, handling illegal immigration, and dealing with Obamacare all jumped.
Republicans and Democrats did see Trump’s description of the country quite differently. Most Republicans think he was accurate, while six in 10 Democrats thought the president’s description was worse than the country really is.
When it came to his comments on the economy, Republicans and independents agreed with that he did inherit a bad economy, while three in four Democrats said he took over an economy that was already improving.
The president received mostly positive marks when it came to his plans for the military, trade, foreign policy, the budget deficit, and taxes. He also won favor from viewers for his plans to build roads and bridges – which was the one issue where his approach appealed to most Democrats as well as nearly all Republicans.
The poll was conducted immediately after the conclusion of the president’s address by re-contacting a sampled panel of Americans who had first been interviewed in the days leading up to the speech. A total of 857 speech watchers were interviewed. The margin of error for the total sample is 4.2 points.