Post-Speech Survey Shows Higher Trust in Biden to Handle Ukraine Conflict, Fight for Middle Class, and More
Denver, CO — Yesterday evening, Navigator Research hosted a live dial group with 26 swing voters in Denver, Colorado, providing insight into Americans’ reactions to President Biden’s State of the Union address and his plans to address the conflict in Ukraine, fight inflation, and more.
These 26 soft partisans and independents from the Denver-metro area adjusted dials on a scale of 0-100 to indicate how favorably they felt about each of the president’s statements (50 being neutral). They also participated in pre- and post-speech surveys grading the president on various metrics, illuminating how their opinions changed after listening to Biden’s speech.
“The results from our dial group demonstrate that Biden was able to effectively meet this moment of conflicting crises, inspiring increased confidence in his ability to handle the situation in Ukraine, a massive uptick in the belief that he is standing up for the middle class, and high levels of support for his Unity Agenda for the Nation Agenda,” said Bryan Bennett, Senior Director of Polling and Analytics at the Hub Project and advisor to Navigator Research.
Below are some of the key findings from the dial group and pre- and post-speech surveys:
- Across the political spectrum, there was incredibly high support for standing with the Ukrainian people and with NATO, rising over 80 among Democrats and Independents and over 60 among Republicans.
- There was also high support for strong economic sanctions (over 80 among Democrats and 75 among Independents) and closing airspace to Russian planes (over 95 among Democrats, 80 among Independents, and almost 60 among Republicans).
President Biden: That’s why the NATO Alliance was created to secure peace and stability in Europe after World War 2. The United States is a member along with 29 other nations. It matters. American diplomacy matters. American resolve matters.
- Biden’s “Buy American” proposals had extraordinarily high support across partisanship, with dials hitting 90+ points among Democrats, near 80 among Independents, and 70 among Republicans.
- There was also high support for taxing the wealthy — including cross-partisan support for not raising taxes on those making less than $400,000 a year.
President Biden: Under my plan, nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay an additional penny in new taxes. Nobody.
- Health Care:
- Democrats responded extremely well to Biden’s statements on letting Medicare negotiate lower prescription drugs, rating the statement around 90, with Independents around 75. When Biden declared there should be a cap on the cost of insulin, dials from Democrats and Republicans all rose above 60, and Independents specifically rose to 68.
- This is consistent with Navigator tracking that shows support for “expanding Medicare for seniors to include hearing coverage, lower health care costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, and invest in clean energy like wind and solar power” is net +44 (66 percent support – 24 percent oppose).
President Biden: My plan to fight inflation will lower your costs and lower the deficit. 17 Nobel Laureates in economics say my plan will ease long-term inflationary pressures. Top business leaders and most Americans support my plan. And here’s the plan: First – cut the cost of prescription drugs.
- One of the few subjects in which Republicans and Independents reacted more favorably than Democrats was during Biden’s discussion of COVID fatigue and mask wearing.
- On Biden’s strategy around vaccines, tests, antiviral drugs, and opening schools, participants scored Biden’s strategy between 60-70 overall, consistent with ratings of his handling of coronavirus among this group both before and after the speech.
President Biden: We’ve reached a new moment in the fight against COVID-19, with severe cases down to a level not seen since last July. Just a few days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the CDC—issued new mask guidelines. Under these new guidelines, most Americans in most of the country can now be mask free. And based on the projections, more of the country will reach that point across the next couple of weeks.
- Unity Agenda for the Nation:
- Biden’s plans to address the opioid epidemic and increase investment in mental health care were broadly popular with participants, scoring at 65+ among soft Democrats, Independents, and soft Republicans. Doing more for veterans and Biden’s cancer moonshot program scored even higher (in the 70s and 80s) across participants of all political leanings.
- Throughout the entire discussion of this agenda, which lasted nearly ten minutes of the speech, dial ratings across partisanship remained above 60.
- Post-Speech Survey Shifts
- After watching the speech, participants moved from net -32 to net +19 in trusting Biden to handle the crisis in Ukraine. Their trust in him to handle relationships with U.S. allies moved from net +8 to net +42.
- Before the speech, Biden scored net +8 on “trying to bring people together” — after the speech, he scored net +42.
- After the speech, the belief that Biden is fighting for the middle class shot up from net -23 to net +30. The belief that Biden is looking out for small businesses went from net -23 to even.
- The belief that Biden is trying to do what’s best for the country increased significantly post-speech from net -8 to net +24.
- Before the speech began, just 4 percent of participants indicated they felt hopeful. By the end of the speech, 19 percent said they were hopeful.
- The percentage of people who said they felt angry dropped from 23 percent to 8 percent.
About Navigator Research
The Navigator Research project is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates. By conducting research and providing reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press, Navigator helps top leaders in Washington and grassroots leaders around the country shape the debate on the issues that matter most. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.
About the Dial Group
GBAO conducted a live-reaction dial group on behalf of Navigator Research on March 1, 2022 during President Biden’s State of the Union address with 26 participants in the Denver, Colorado metro area. Participants included a roughly equal mix of soft partisans (not strong Democrats, not strong Republicans) and independents without a partisan lean. Participants were also a mix based on gender, race/ethnicity, age, and educational attainment. Qualitative results are not statistically projectable.