EARLY POLLS SHOW POSITIVE SOTU REACTION…. Gauging public reactions to the State of the Union is more than a little tricky at this point. For one thing, it’s only been 12 hours. For another, the audience isn’t especially broad — those who tune into a presidential speech like this one are more likely to be open to what he has to say.

But with those caveats in mind, the initial results suggest President Obama’s speech was well received. CBS News, for example, published these results over night.

Of the randomly selected 522 speech viewers questioned by CBS, 83 percent said they approved of the proposals the President made. Just 17 percent disapproved — typical of the high support a president generally receives among those who choose to watch the State of the Union. […]

Six in 10 of those asked said they thought Mr. Obama conveyed a clear plan for creating jobs, and seven in 10 said his plans for the economy will help ordinary Americans. Another seven in 10 said President Obama has the same priorities for the country as they have.

The same individuals were interviewed both before and after Wednesday’s State of the Union, and after the speech, 70 percent said Mr. Obama shares their priorities for the country, up from 57 percent before the speech.

Indeed, among those polled before and after, there were big jumps in support for the president on everything from jobs to health care to U.S. policy in Afghanistan.

CNN also released a poll last night, reflecting widespread support — 48% had a very positive reaction to the speech, 30% had a somewhat positive response, and 21% had a negative response. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland added, “All in all, Obama had a definite affect on his audience.”

And Mark Blumenthal noted that Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps conducted a “dial group” (focus group with dials) in Las Vegas, and found a “very positive response,” most notably on “bank reform and wall street and special interests.”

On the issue of whether he puts Wall Street ahead of the middle class, it was a 50 point shift on people saying that [doesn’t describe him] well. There was a 40-point shift…on fighting special interests. On banking reform, on support, it was a 38 point shift in favor of that. And that’s clearly, far and away the place where he showed the greatest strength and clarity.

These immediate reactions can shift, but it seems like the kind of positive response the White House can build on.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.