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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

Americans' climate action disconnect

Despite a widespread recognition among a majority of Americans that climate change is a problem, and a willingness to take actions to combat it, there’s a large gulf between what people say they would be willing to do and what they are actually doing.

Why it matters: This finding, from a new polling analysis conducted by climate opinion researchers at Yale University and George Mason, suggests there's considerable room for expanding the climate movement beyond current activists.

Job gains slow sharply as U.S. adds 210k jobs in November

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 210,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate plummeted to 4.2% from 4.6%.

Why it matters: Job gains slowed sharply, but the labor market recovery remains on track.

Elon Musk's mega-billion bounty

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Here's how insanely rich Elon Musk is: He has unloaded $10 billion of his stock in the past month — and could do that 15+ more times given his silos of shares.