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Poll: Speech improved Bush's approval rating

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- People who watched President Bush's address to Congress on Tuesday -- the strong plurality of whom were Republicans -- generally liked what they heard and saw, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted immediately after the address indicated.

The poll is based on interviews with 399 people who watched the president's speech. Forty-nine percent of them said they were Republicans, 28 percent said they were Democrats and 23 percent described themselves as independents -- a reverse image of the speech-watchers during former President Bill Clinton's two terms, in which a majority of the speech-watchers were Democrats.

The new president made an extremely favorable impression on the sample. After watching the speech, the number of people who thought Bush was leading the country in the right direction increased to more than 80 percent, from the low 70s before the speech.

While more people said they favored Bush's tax cut proposal after watching his speech, the number who said it should be a top priority for his administration did not change. However, more people however felt it should be a high priority.

All questions had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Reaction to Bush's speech

Very positive66%
Somewhat positive26%
Negative7%

Reaction to Bush's speaking style

Very postive66%
Somewhat positive27%
Negative7%

Is Bush leading the country in the right direction?

 BeforeAfter
 speechspeech
Yes73%84%
No12%12%

Are you confident in Bush's ability to carry out presidential duties?

 BeforeAfter
 speechspeech
Yes81%86%
No17%14%

Do you support the proposals outlined in Bush's speech?

Yes85%
No12%

What is your opinion of Bush's tax-cut proposals?

 BeforeAfter
 speechspeech
Favor68% 79%
Oppose24%19%

Should tax cuts be a high priority for the Bush administration?

 BeforeAfter
 speechspeech
Yes77%83%
No22%17%

How much will taxes go down under Bush's tax-cut plan?

 BeforeAfter
 speechspeech
A lot12%66%
A little66%17%
None18%15%

Are you confident in the strength of the economy?

 BeforeAfter
 speechspeech
Confident67%73%
Not confident66%17%

What is your opinion of Bush's Social Security proposal?

Approve82%
Disapprove14%


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