Two words describe the country’s outlook after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday: somewhat enthusiastic.
The plurality of Americans — 73% — said they had a positive attitude after listening to his address on Tuesday night, according to an online msnbc poll.
The president gave his address, the sixth of his presidency, to a Republican-led Congress for the first time. More than half of poll participants — 58% — said the issues Obama discussed will unite the country.
The poll was conducted among 1,429 adults using SurveyMonkey on Jan. 20, the same day as the president’s address to the nation. It was weighted for age, race, sex, education, and region to match U.S. Census data.
Obama called on Republicans to follow his lead in enacting policies to help the middle class, and promised to press for measures to provide paid sick leave and to raise the minimum wage. One of the main points he highlighted was unemployment being at its lowest point since the financial crisis in 2008. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that more Americans are satisfied with the economy now than at any point in the past decade.
A potentially controversial point in his speech on Tuesday was his proposal to tax the wealthiest Americans, which 64% of Americans polled said was a “good idea.” Obama also described his idea to provide two years of free tuition to community college. Among participants who watched the address, economic growth and national security tied as the most important issue.
Sixty-eight percent of responders said Obama focused on the “right things,” compared with 28% who felt differently. But when the question was rephrased to ask if Republicans are concerned about the “right things,” only 32% agreed.
Overall, 25% of people responded with a negative view toward the speech, saying they were “dissatisfied, but not angry” or were “angry.”