Most viewers approved of Trump's second State of the Union address

/ CBS News

Fact-checking the State of the Union

By Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto and Fred Backus

Seventy-six percent of Americans who tuned in to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night approved of the speech he gave. Just 24 percent disapproved.

More than two-thirds of Americans who watched the State of the Union approved of the address. CBS News

As is often the case in State of the Union addresses, the people who watched tonight's speech leaned more towards the president's own party, at least compared to Americans overall. In the latest CBS national poll released last month, 25 percent of Americans identified themselves as Republicans. Among those who watched Tuesday night's address, that figure was 43 percent, and Republicans helped bolster the overall approval of the address.

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Those who watched the speech were more likely to be Republicans than the population overall. CBS News

And while 97 percent of Republicans approved of the speech, far fewer Democrats who tuned in did (30 percent). Most independents did approve.

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Independents largely approved of President Trump's State of the Union address. CBS News

Fifty-six of Americans who watched tonight feel the president's speech will do more to unite the country, rather than divide it, although 36 percent don't think it will change things much.

Democrats who watched the speech see things differently, however. Just 15 percent of Democrats think the president's speech will unite the country.

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Most viewers thought the State of the Union said the speech would do more to unite the country. CBS News

On bipartisanship, just a third said what they heard in the speech made them think Mr. Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will work together more going forward. Sixty-three percent said there wouldn't be much change.

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But most didn't think the speech would make the president and Pelosi work together more. CBS News

On some of the specific issues the president touched upon, most viewers had a favorable opinion of what Mr. Trump had to say about immigration and what to do about U.S. troops in the Middle East.

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Seventy-two percent of viewers approved of what the president said on immigration. CBS News
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Most viewers approved of Mr. Trump's comments on the Middle East. CBS News

From what they heard tonight, 71 percent of speech-watchers think there is a crisis at the southern border. Democrats who watched do not.

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Seventy-one percent of speech-watchers think there is a crisis at the southern border. CBS News

On North Korea, 78 percent of speech-watchers think a second meeting between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a good idea. Republicans are particularly likely to think it's a good idea. Most Democrats (57 percent) don't think it is, but 43 percent do.

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Most of those who watched the State of the Union think a second summit with Kim is a good idea. CBS News

This CBS News survey is based on 1,472 interviews of U.S. adults who watched the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. The survey was conducted by YouGov using a representative sample of 9,322 U.S. adults who were initially interviewed online between Feb. 1 to 4, 2019, to indicate whether they planned to watch the address, and if they were willing to be re-interviewed after the address. Only those who watched the address were included in the analysis.

The initial sample of U.S. adults was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2016 presidential vote. The final sample of post-address re-interviews was weighted to be representative of those who said they would watch the State of the Union address according to gender, age, race, education, and party identification. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent.


First published on February 6, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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