Of those polled, 88 percent of Americans who either watched or listened to the address say they approve of the proposals President Bush made in his speech. This support is fairly consistent with the support other presidents received after they addressed Congress.
In addition, immediately after the speech, most Americans express high expectations for President Bush and his proposals, and a majority now says he shares their priorities, a significant change from before the speech.
| Does President Bush share your priorities |
for the country?
|After Speech||Before Speech|
There were other improvements for Bush as well.
There are big differences between those who watched or listened to the speech and those who did not.
Historically, supporters are more likely to watch a president's speeches. Viewers said Bush shared their priorities by 71 percent to 28 percent, while those who did not watch divide more evenly. Forty-three percent say he shares their priorities and 55 percent say he does not.
Sixty-seven percent now favor the $1.6 trillion tax-cut plan the centerpiece of President Bush's proposed budget package while 31 percent oppose.
There are party differences. Republicans favor the proposed tax cut by 94 percent to 6 percent, while Democrats oppose it by 52 percent to 46 percent.
Given a choice of four of the proposals offered by Bush, the viewing public is most interested in his proposal to cut income taxes. Thirty-eight percent of viewers say they would like to see it happen in the coming year.
Proposals on increasing Social Security/Medicare and education spending follow, chosen by 23 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Thirty percent of those who did not watch or listen to the speech chose tax cut.
Overall, 35 percent of the public prefer the tax-cut proposal.
| PREFER WHICH PROPOSAL? |
|Cut income taxes||35%||38%||30%|
|Increase education spending||22%||21%||23%|
|Pay down national debt||15%||16%||13%|
PREFER WHICH PROPOSAL?
Moreover, 60 percent of Americans believe it is possible to preserve Social Security and Medicare and implement Bush's tax-cut proposal at the same time.
There is sharp party division, however Republicans say it is possible by 91 percent to 9 percent, while Democrats say it is not possible by 59 percent to 39 percent.
The public is aware of the deep partisan division in Congress. Sixty-three percent say they don't think most Democrats in Congress favor Bush's programs, while 35 percent think they do.
At the same time, however, Americans remain generally optimistic that Democrats will work with President Bush. Sixty-eight percent of Americans polled think Democrats in Congress will work with George W. Bush in order to get things done.
One persistent problem for George W. Bush has been that he is not widely viewed as being in charge of his presidency. Tonight's speech to have helped changed that perception.
Sixty-one percent of those who watched Bush's speech tonight now think Bush will be in charge of what goes on in his administration, while 39 percent say other people will really be running the country.
In contrast, 60 percent of those who did not watch the speech say other people will be running the government, while only 40 percent say Bush will be in charge.
This CBS News Poll was conducted online by Knowledge Networks among a nationwide random sample of 978 adults. This is a scientifically representative poll of the pblic's reaction to a major news event. Knowledge Networks, a Silicon Valley company, conducted the poll among a sample of adult members of its household panel, a nationally representative sample given access to the Internet via Web TV. The margin of sampling error could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample, and four points for results among those who viewed the speech.size>
For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.
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