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Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Most people who watched President Biden's maiden address to a joint session of Congress approved of the message and were left feeling optimistic, according to two polls taken immediately following the speech.

Why it matters: Those polled signaled they felt more optimistic about the country after watching the speech, during which Biden laid out a progressive vision for big government. Data in both polls suggest the speech had a more friendly, Democratic viewership.

By the numbers: 85% of those who watched the speech approved of it, while 15% disapproved, per a CBS News poll. 78% of viewers said they came away feeling more optimistic about the country.

  • 74% of people in the poll said they believe the plans Biden laid out would help them, while 85% said they like his plan to create jobs.

A CNN Poll conducted by SSRS found that 51% of respondents said they had a very positive reaction to the speech, fewer than any other modern president in the same poll. But 71% in the poll said they felt more optimistic about the country after watching it.

  • 73% said Biden's proposals would move the country in the right direction. The share of Republicans who agreed with the statement doubled after the speech, from 13% to 27%. Among independents, the number rose from 61% before the address to 73% after.
  • Some 7 in 10 viewers said the president's policies on the economy, guns and taxes were a step in the right direction. About 65% said the same about immigration, while 64% said Biden struck the right chord surrounding bipartisanship.

Yes, but: CNN's polling suggests the speech's viewers were about 13 points more Democratic than the general public, as is typical for these addresses. The CBS News poll indicates it was about 20% more Democratic.

Methodology:

  • CBS News survey is based on 943 interviews of adults who watched the President's address to Congress on Wednesday night. It has +/- 4.4 point margin of error.
  • The CNN/SRSS poll was conducted by text message with 589 U.S. adults. It has a +/- 5.4 point margin of error.

Go deeper

Poll: 50% of Republicans support GOP over Trump

Former President Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on March 9 in New York City. Photo: James Devaney/GC Images

50% of Republicans said they support the Republican party more than former President Trump, in a new poll out Tuesday from NBC News.

Why it matters: The poll suggests that Trump's hold on voters may be slipping, though he continues to dominate his party's rhetoric, agenda, and fundraising.

Poll: Support for new gun control legislation falls

Photo: Karla Ann Cote/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Support for prioritizing new gun control legislation has declined from its 2018 high following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Details: The poll found that 50% of Americans support passing laws to reduce gun violence, down from 57% in 2018. 43% of Americans say the government should prioritize protecting the right to own guns, up from 34% in 2018.

Updated Apr 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to the nation: "America is on the move again"

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In his first joint address to Congress on Wednesday, President Biden told America that "one day shy" of his 100th day in office, his administration is turning the nation's "peril into possibility" and "setback into strength."

Why it matters: Wednesday's speech was one of the president's most significant opportunities so far to sway members of Congress in favor of his administration's agenda.