The 51% who had a very positive reaction to Biden’s speech is a bit more muted than reaction to the first address from other recent presidents. Barack Obama had the strongest first outing of the last four presidents, with 68% saying they had a very positive reaction to his speech, and George W. Bush in 2001 earned a similar 66% very positive. Fewer — 57% — had a very positive reaction to Donald Trump’s 2017 address.
About 6 in 10 said that Biden made the right amount of outreach to Republicans in his speech, while 38% felt he did not go far enough. Only 4% said Biden went too far.
The audience of speech-watchers was a friendly one for Biden, as is typical of presidential addresses to Congress. Overall, the pool of people who watched the speech was about 13 points more Democratic than the general public and about 2 points less Republican. That tilt is similar to the partisan makeup of speech audiences for Obama’s final three State of the Union addresses.
Surveys were conducted by text message with 589 US adults who said they watched the presidential address on Wednesday and is representative of the views of speech-watchers only. Respondents were recruited to participate before the speech, and were selected by a survey of members of the SSRS Opinion Panel, a nationally representative panel recruited using probability-based sampling techniques. Results for the full sample of speech-watchers have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5.4 percentage points.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.