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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Poll: Most State of the Union viewers liked the speech

By Keating Holland/CNN

January 20, 1999
Web posted at: 12:19 a.m. EDT (0019 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, January 19) -- Americans who watched President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address on Tuesday night reacted as favorably to it as they did to the 1998 speech, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

The speech appears to have particularly swayed speech watchers' views of Clinton -- a majority of them had a negative view of Clinton as a person before the speech, but more than half had a positive view of him afterward.

Speech watchers' views of the economy also rose significantly after they heard the speech. But the address did little to boost the speech viewers' confidence in Clinton's ability to carry out his duties, although that was high to begin with.

More than half -- 56 percent -- said they had a very positive reaction to the speech, slightly higher than the 52 percent of his audience last year who felt that way. Twenty-four percent of speech viewers said the speech made them less likely to support his removal from office; most reported that the speech did not affect their views of the impeachment trial.

Three-quarters said that the proposals Clinton announced on Tuesday night would save Social Security for the 21st century.

The survey of 454 adult Americans who watched the speech was conducted between 10:30 and 10:40 pm EST on January 19, 1999 and has a margin of sampling error of +/- five percentage points.

Question 1: How confident are you in Bill Clinton's ability to carry out his duties as president -- very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not confident at all?

                  Before    After
                  Speech    Speech

Very confident      49%     55%
Somewhat confident  25      24
Not confident       25      21

Question 2: Thinking about Bill Clinton as a person, do you have a positive or negative opinion of him?

             Before   After
             Speech   Speech

Positive      38%      51%
Negative      56       46

Question 3: How would you rate economic conditions in this country today -- as excellent, good, only fair or poor?

                 Before   After
                 Speech   Speech

Excellent          27%      40%
Good               60       49
Only fair          11        9
Poor                2        2

Question 4: What was your overall reaction to Clinton's speech tonight -- very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative?

                   1999     1998 
Very positive       56%      52% 
Somewhat positive   27       32  
Negative            16       16  

Question 5: Overall, which of the following statements comes closest to how you feel about most of the proposals made by Clinton in his speech this evening -- (A) they are good proposals and will be accomplished (B) they are good proposals but will not be accomplished, or (C) they are not good proposals

Good/will happen       50%
Good/will not happen   38                  
Not good                6                  

Question 6: Do you think that the proposals Clinton made tonight for Social Security will or will not save Social Security for the next century?

Yes      75%
No       18

Question 7: How did President Clinton's speech this evening affect your view of what should happen in the Senate impeachment trial -- (A) it made you more likely to feel he should be removed from office (B) it did not change your view (C) it made you less likely to feel he should be removed from office.

More likely to support    5%
Less likely to support   24
No change                70

State of the Union

Sen. Grams reiterates call for tax cut in GOP radio address (1-23-99)

Stuart Rothenberg: The state of Bill Clinton's State of the Union (1-20-99)

Clinton rallies support for agenda outside Washington (1-20-99)

Clinton ignores impeachment, calls for Social Security reform (1-19-99)

In response, GOP promises to stick to 'practical matters' (1-19-99)

Poll: Most viewers liked the speech (1-19-99)

President will call for using bulk of surplus to shore up Social Security (1-19-99)

Clinton will not address impeachment in State of the Union (1-13-99)

Clinton plans to give State of the Union speech as scheduled (1-11-99)


Clinton's speech: Transcript and prepared text

GOP response: Transcript and prepared text

The full text of President Clinton's State of the Union addresses from:
1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993

For additional transcripts or videotapes, call 1-800-CNN-NEWS (1-800-266-6397) or order online


Clinton on:

281 K/23 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
231 K/20 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
498 K/32 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
374 K/16 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
Social Security
498 K/30 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
623 K/36 sec. AIFF or WAV sound


State of the Union address part 1 (1-19-99) Windows Media: 28K | 56K

State of the Union address part 2 (1-19-99) Windows Media: 28K | 56K

State of the Union address part 3 (1-19-99) Windows Media: 28K | 56K

Republican response to State of the Union (1-19-99) Windows Media: 28K | 56K

Clinton ignores impeachment, calls for Social Security reform (1-20-99) Windows Media: 28K | 80K


Lewinsky allegations overshadow State of the Union

Clinton: Save Social Security first

Analysis: Speech memorable for what he didn't say

Speech transcript

Video on demand: Clinton's address; Lott's response


Clinton vs. O.J.

It's the schools, stupid

Speech transcript


The White House

U.S. House of Representatives

United States Senate

CNN Focus: Tobacco under attack

Mike Luckovich: The Republican response (1-19-99) more

Bob Lang: Promises (1-19-99) more


Message Board: State of the Union address


Tuesday January 19, 1999

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