A CBS poll conducted in the aftermath of the President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night has found that a full 85 percent of those who viewed the remarks approved of the address. Although presidential addresses to Congress have often featured at least a bit more of an attempt at unity than a campaign stump speech, even a high point of approval from the aftermath of a Trump address to Congress was lower than the approval that Biden just earned. In 2019, CBS found that 76 percent of respondents who watched Trump’s State of the Union address that year approved of the speech.
*CBS News Poll of Speech Watchers*
We interviewed watchers immediately after the speech.
More than eight in 10 of those who watched approve of Biden’s speech.
Most said it made them feel optimistic about America. pic.twitter.com/QOkI0PoVuo
— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) April 29, 2021
CBS characterized Biden’s speech this week as a “hopeful message to America.” He appeared before Congress — and the nation via television — as the country continued to climb out of the wreckage of the COVID-19 pandemic, although there’s still a formidable path ahead. Still, nearly 100 million Americans have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and over 142 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. (Two of the three major COVID-19 vaccines that have been administered in the United States are part of two-dose regimens.)
Although the figure emerged the day after his speech to Congress, gross domestic product also grew by an annualized rate of 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Commerce Department. (In the fourth quarter of 2020, the rate was 4.3 percent.)
The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have worked together on ambitious economic assistance for millions of Americans, including expanded unemployment help, direct relief checks of $1,400 per person, and more. With issues like national unemployment that’s still nearly double the pre-pandemic rate, the Biden administration has put forward additional plans including an infrastructure spending package that — as the president noted during his speech to Congress — would provide for the creation of high numbers of accessible jobs across the country.
Overall, Biden has consistently gotten higher levels of approval from the general public than Trump received while in office. According to a weighted average from FiveThirtyEight, an average of 53.9 percent of Americans approved of Biden’s job performance as of this Thursday. Trump left office with average overall approval at less than 40 percent, according to the same source.