A CNN/ORC poll conducted shortly after President Donald Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday found the vast majority had a positive impression of that speech. Most respondents also expressed optimism about the president’s direction on key issues like the economy, terrorism, taxes, and even immigration.
When asked about their overall reaction to the speech, 57 percent of respondents said they felt “very positive” about it, while 21 percent described their reaction as “somewhat positive.” Only 11 percent had “somewhat negative” reactions and 10 percent had “very negative” ones.
Interestingly, when asked if the policies being proposed by the president “will move the country in the right direction or the wrong direction,” more respondents said Trump’s policies represented the “right direction” after hearing the speech. Before the speech, 58 percent said Trump’s policies would move the country in the right direction, but after the speech that number shot up to 69 percent. Similarly, more people said Trump has had the right priorities after the speech (63 percent) than before it (57 percent).
Finally, Trump garnered support on specific issues as well. On the economy, a whopping 72 percent said Trump’s policies represented the “right direction,” and a similar number (70 percent) said they hit the mark on terrorism. Trump also received high marks for his policies on taxes (64 percent), immigration (62 percent), and health care (61 percent).
The immigration number is particularly striking, given the controversy over the president’s immigration order (commonly denounced as a “Muslim ban”) which suspends refugees from seven countries of terror concern. A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel denied the administration’s motion to throw out a federal judge’s temporary restraining order against the action, but Trump is expected to re-issue the order, with significant alterations.
Despite the public legal battle, the immigration order has proven popular in polls. This poll further illustrates public support for it.
The CNN poll was conducted Tuesday evening via telephone among 509 adult Americans who watched the president’s speech. The margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Respondents were first interviewed as part of a random national sample taken February 24-27. In that sample, respondents indicated they planned to watch the speech and were willing to be re-interviewed afterwards.
It is interesting to see such high marks for Trump’s speech, reported by an outlet the president himself has repeatedly denounced as “fake news.” It seems unlikely he will dismiss this particular poll as untruthful, however.