A full 81 percent of people who watched President Obama's sixth State of the Union address on Tuesday night had a positive reaction to the speech — including 51 percent who had a very favorable impression — according to a CNN/ORC International instant poll of 420 viewers. Eighteen percent had a negative or very negative reaction. More impressively for Obama:
Now, some caveats: 420 isn't a terribly large sample size, and "the spot poll only represents the views of people who watched the speech, which may skew more Democratic than the U.S. population as a whole," says CNN polling director Jennifer Agiesta — 10-12 points more Democratic in this sample. But George W. Bush got a similarly impressive 48 percent strong approval in his sixth State of the Union speech, too. So the big takeaway may be that people watch State of the Union speeches by presidents they already like.