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A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that President Bush gave one of his most effective speeches last night, picking up converts for his strategies on Social Security and Iraq and wound up with an 86% positive response, his highest in 3 years:
President Bush's State of the Union address raised support for his policies on health care and Social Security among people who watched the speech, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Wednesday night.
The percentage of respondents who said the president's proposals in those areas will help the country rose 15 points from when the same question was asked of the same people in the two days before the speech.
In the post-speech sample, 70 percent of respondents said Bush's policies on health care were positive, while 66 percent approved of the president's plan for Social Security.
Bush showed almost as much improvement on Iraq, with 78 percent of respondents saying U.S. policy there is heading in the right direction, a 12 percentage point increase over pre-speech polling. Overall, 77 percent of respondents said Bush is taking the country in the right direction after the speech compared to 67 percent beforehand.
The news in the poll will be the double-digit gains Bush made, but the pre-speech numbers were surprisingly substantial. Gallup apparently found that even before the SOTU speech, two-thirds of people now support his policies in Iraq and the same feel our country is heading in the right direction. On the "third rail" of American politics, he even had a majority supporting his reforms for Social Security, a remarkable number that only got better immediately afterwards.
Even if his gains recede as the afterglow of his speech fades, Bush shows an amazing mandate -- and one that the press has apparently failed to report. The election in Iraq opened a lot of eyes around the world to the true nature of the Bush administration, and the scales may have fallen from the eyes of American voters as well. The Democrats had better wake up to the fact of Bush's popularity and support, because if all they can do is catcall during important occasions like high-schoolers, the Party of No will rapidly become the Party No More.Sphere It View blog reactions
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