Tens of millions of Americans watched President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, but the speech had no appreciable impact on his depressed poll numbers.
In the two national polls released since the speech — daily tracking polls from Gallup and Rasmussen Reports — the president’s approval ratings barely budged after three full nights of post-speech polling.
Gallup had the president at 41 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval before the speech. Post-speech polling released Saturday found Obama at 42 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval — essentially unchanged.
In Rasmussen’s polling, the president went from 48 percent approving and 51 percent disapproving before the speech to 48 percent/50 percent Saturday. The firm said the speech “had no immediate impact.”
The lack of a bump for Obama isn’t particularly surprising, as there is evidence that presidential speeches rarely produce big bumps in approval. Obama’s speech also featured little in the way of big, bold proposals, and Nielsen reported 33.3 million viewers, the lowest in 14 years.
Unless Obama can start turning his poll numbers around, his role in the midterms could be relegated mostly to being the party’s fundraiser in chief.