Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

A State of the Union bounce? Not so much

Here are the Gallup polls taken before and after State of the Union addresses for presidents going back to 1978. Note that a president’s first address to a joint session of Congress after being sworn in for the first time is not officially called a State of the Union address, and therefore is not catalogued here.

Year President / Pre-speech Approval / Post-Speech Approval / Change

1978 Carter 55 52 -3
1979 Carter 43 42 -1
1980 Carter 56 58 +2

1982 Reagan 47 47 0
1983 Reagan 37 35 -2
1984 Reagan 52 55 +3
1985 Reagan 64 60 -4
1986 Reagan 64 63 -1
1987 Reagan 48 43 -5
1988 Reagan 49 50 +1

1990 G.H.W. Bush 80 73 -7
1991 G.H.W. Bush 83 82 -1
1992 G.H.W. Bush 46 47 +1

1994 Clinton 54 58 +4
1995 Cliniton 47 49 +2
1996 Clinton 46 52 +6
1997 Clinton 60 57 -3
1998 Clinton 59 69 +10
1999 Clinton 69 69 0
2000 Clinton 64 63 -1

2002 G.W. Bush 84 82 -2
2003 G.W. Bush 60 61 +1
2004 G.W. Bush 53 49 -4
2005 G.W. Bush 51 57 +6
2006 G.W. Bush 43 42 -1
2007 G.W. Bush 36 32 -4
2008 G.W. Bush 34 34 0

2010 Obama* 51 50 -1

* Figure shown compares the polls Gallup took approximately every two weeks -- its longstanding methodology. Beginning with the 2010 State of the Union address, Gallup began using its daily tracking poll -- a methodologically different survey -- as the basis of comparison. Using the daily tracking poll, Gallup says, Obama’s approval rating “in the days just prior to his first official State of the Union address was 48 percent, and it remained at that level for the first three days after the speech. However, his approval rating did rise slightly after that, averaging 50 percent in February.”

SOURCES:

Pollster.com, "SOTU: On Bounces and Spin," Jan. 31, 2006

Gallup, “President’s Support Usually Unaffected by State of Union,” Jan. 26, 2010

Gallup, presidential job approval center, accessed Jan. 24, 2011

University of California (Santa Barbara), State of the Union Addresses and Messages (web archive), accessed Jan. 24, 2011

E-mail interview with Frank Newport, editor in chief of Gallup, Jan. 24, 2011