The SOTU Snap Poll

If, as Republicans keep insisting today, The American People are outraged at Barack Obama for failing to understand they meant to “chasten” him in November, which means he should have been contrite last night, it sure wasn’t picked up in the one “snap” public opinion poll conducted last night, from CNN/ORC. It showed a 81% positive reaction (51% “very positive” and 30% “somewhat positive” reaction, with the total negative reaction coming in at a less than thundering 18%. Now it’s true that SOTU audiences tend to skew quite a bit towards the party of the president, and Obama’s ratings last night were pretty similar to those he’s received in the past. But midterm elections are “skewed,” too, by who participates in them, so that’s no reason to dismiss the polls altogether.

All in all, in this day and age when you can get a positive reaction while throwing the opposition into consternation, you’ve done your job at the bully pulpit.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.