SOTU schadenfreude: Watch CNN try to rationalize away its own instant poll showing 76% of viewers positive on Trump's SOTU
I don't think the suits at CNN anticipated either the quality of State of the Union speech that President Trump delivered or the positive public reaction to it when they went to the expense and trouble of an instant poll. The segment they broadcast on it is a classic of rationalization, attempting to minimize the outcome that went so contrary to their own prejudices. A stunning 59% were very positive, with another 17% somewhat positive, for a grand total of 76% – a landslide in anyone's book.
Watch the entire segment, which will cost you only one minute and 42 seconds. A transcript is included below.
BLITZER: Quickly, I want to go to David. He has an instant poll. The country is reacting, the less those who watch. What have you got here?
CHALIAN: At least those who watched. This is our first look at a brand-new instant poll, but it is among speech watchers. So I just want to stress here for a state of the union address, the president's president's partisans, his supporters tend to turn out to watch the speech. This is true of a president of either party. Tonight we saw a heavily skewed Republican audience turn out to watch the president's speech. But look at this. A very positive reaction from those who watched the speech tonight. 59% very positive. 17% somewhat positive. 23% negative. I want you to see that very positive number, how that compares to Donald Trump's performances in the last couple of years when he has given a speech to a joint session of Congress like this. You'll see that he was again at 59%. He was down at 48% very positive a year ago. Back when he first started the job and he addressed the Congress, he was at 57%. So he is back up. This is a -- this is a speech-watching audience that was more receptive this year than last year what they saw. Here's the rub. Even this very favorable audience to Donald Trump does not believe his call for bipartisanship is going to meet with success. Take a look. Will Donald Trump increase bipartisan cooperation? A majority of speech watchers, again, a heavily Republican audience, 53% say no. 39% say yes. So all that talk of bipartisanship seems to be being met by with the people who watch the speech by a healthy dose of skepticism, Wolf.
The first rationalization is the claim that the SOTU audience is mostly supporters of the president. Historically, somewhat true, though no numbers were given. This time around, there is a least the possibility that more than usual numbers of the president's opposition watched, hoping for some rebuke from the speaker seated behind him, or from the
school lunch ladies female Democrats seated as a bloc, all dressed in white.
The second rationalization, on the question of viewers anticipating an increase in bipartisan cooperation seemed to assume that Republicans would respond positively to this question if they liked Trump's speech. I thought the speech was great, but given what we know about Democrats' level of TDS, I don't expect that it will increase bipartisan cooperation, because nothing possibly could. They are hopelessly bent on destroying Trump, and any harm to the nation is just acceptable collateral damage.