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 is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.