▶ Watch Video: 85% of viewers approve of Biden’s address to Congress, CBS News polling says

Most viewers who tuned in to watch President Biden’s speech liked what they heard and came away feeling optimistic about America.

Speech viewers described the president as “Presidential, “Caring,” “Inspiring” and “Bold.”

And history was made tonight with two women seated behind the president during an address to Congress, and a big majority of those who watched felt proud to see that. 

As we’ve seen with previous presidential addresses to Congress and State of the Union speeches, those who watched tonight are more likely to be from the president’s own political party.

Eighty-five percent of Americans who watched Mr. Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress overwhelmingly approve of his speech. Fifteen percent disapprove. 

And most say it made them feel optimistic about America.

In the latest CBS News national poll, 34% of Americans nationwide identified as Democrats. Among those who watched tonight’s speech, that figure is 54%, helping boost approval of the address. 

Former President Trump received a high approval rating for his first address to a joint session of Congress in 2017, among a viewing audience who leaned more Republican than the country as a whole. 

Speech watchers not only feel positive about what’s ahead for the country, but most feel they will personally benefit from the plans the President presented tonight. 

And they overwhelmingly like Mr. Biden’s plans for creating jobs. 

The coronavirus outbreak has been the top priority for the Biden administration, and those who watched tonight say the speech made them feel that the outbreak is getting better. 

For the first time, two women — the Vice President Harris and Speaker of the House Pelosi — were seated behind an American president during an address to a joint session of Congress. Most say they felt proud about this moment, with female viewers particularly likely to say so.

This CBS News survey is based on 943 interviews of adults who watched the President’s address to Congress on Wednesday night. An initial survey was conducted by YouGov between April 23-27, 2021 using a nationally representative sample of 10,420 U.S. adults, including 4,211 respondents who planned to watch the address. Respondents who planned to watch the speech were asked if they were willing to be reinterviewed. Only those who watched the speech were included in the analysis.

The initial sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based upon voter registration lists and the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, as well as 2020 Presidential vote. The final sample of post-speech re-interviews was weighted to be representative of those who said they would watch the President’s address according to gender, age, race, education, geographic region, 2020 vote, and pre-speech partisan identification. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 pts.