On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his most powerful State of the Union address yet, laying out a blueprint for an America that’s built to last—where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share. A survey taken moments after President Obama finished giving his the speech found that an overwhelming majority of Americans, including most Republicans, strongly favored the president’s proposals.
So while President Obama doesn’t cut it with the Fox News crowd and Limbaugh “ditto head” fans, he continues to be well received by the rest of America –at least as far as his State of the Union speech was concerned. A CBS News poll following the president’s address showed an astonishing 91% of Americans approved of the President’s proposals. Only 9% disapproved. Last year, 83 % of viewers approved of Mr. Obama’s State of the Union remarks.
Judging from the polls the GOP has an uphill battle going into this election. Their only hope for a victory in November – regardless of whom they choose as nominee, if they can ever figure out who that might be – is an economy that deteriorates and unemployment climbs back up over 9%. There is little doubt that that they will continue to obstruct any and all measures to create jobs and improve the economy. The last thing you can expect is bipartisanship – especially from a GOP that has already exhibited that they refuse to place country before party.
President Obama’s speech set in motion his 2012 election campaign. The President’s populist defense of the middle class and their priorities in his State of the Union scored with voters. According to a Pew Poll before last night’s speech, 42% of swing voters thought that President Obama was for the middle-class. After the speech that number jumped up to “66%”. President Obama generated strong responses on energy, education and foreign policy, but most important, he made impressive gains on a range of economic measures, including the wealthy paying their fair share of taxes.
The Republicans can continue to call the President a Socialist and deride his economic policies as “class warfare” but it isn’t working. According to the last CBS News poll, 64%of Americans believe that taxes on millionaires should be increased in order to reduce the deficit. Thirty percent said taxes on such individuals should not be increased. It’s clear that defending further tax cuts for those at the top of the economic spectrum puts Republicans in Congress and on the Presidential campaign trail well outside of the American mainstream.
In any event, for a President heading into a reelection year, these are the kind of numbers you want to see showing the American people are still overwhelmingly supportive. Meanwhile Mitt Romney is releasing his millionaire’s tax return showing he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.