Poll: State of the Union Address More Than Triples Support for Trump Among Black Viewers


Support for President Donald Trump among African-American viewers more than tripled following the president’s State of the Union address, according to live polling conducted by Stanley Greenberg.

The dial test was commissioned by the American Federation of Teachers and divided 280 participants into seven subgroups: African-Americans, Latinos and Latinas, white millennials, white unmarried women, white working-class women and white working-class men.

New York magazine reported on the findings that measured people’s attitudes toward the president before and after his speech.

Prior to the speech, 11 percent of African-Americans supported the president. After the speech, that figure more than tripled, surging 27 percentage points to 38 percent of African-American respondents.

Even some liberal pundits acknowledged that Trump’s appeals to black voters in the address — especially on job creation and education — resonated strongly.

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“What he was saying to African-Americans can be effective,” CNN political analyst Van Jones said on a panel after Trump’s speech.

He added, “That was a warning to us. A warning shot across the bow of Democrats that he’s going after enough black votes to cause us problems.”

However, the Democratic pollster Greenberg told New York magazine the president’s America First language in the address “really almost offended African-Americans.”

Black viewers weren’t the only subgroup to experience jumps in support for Trump following the speech.

Did you approve of Trump's State of the Union address?

Among white working-class men, support for the president increased from 55 percent before the speech to 60 percent after it.

Support for Trump among Latinos jumped from 31 percent prior to the speech to 39 percent after.

There was a small decrease in support for the president among working-class women. Support for Trump dropped from 55 percent to 53 percent after the speech.

Some of the president’s rhetoric was received better than others.

For example, 57 percent agreed with Trump’s statement that he has been “producing a working-class economic boom” after the speech, while only 46 percent agreed with it prior to the speech.

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Sixty-two percent of respondents said that Trump is “governing for billionaires and big money elites” prior to the speech, and 63 percent agreed after the speech.

The president, in his address, promoted school choice via “Opportunity Scholarships,” which would give underprivileged children the ability to leave failing public schools.

AFT President Randi Weingarten criticized the speech in a media release Tuesday.

“Whether it’s escalating health care costs, medical debts, student debt, tax cuts for the wealthy or vouchers in lieu of a lack of investment in schools, the president refuses to solve the issues affecting working people,” the teachers union chief said.

“Instead of peddling another tax giveaway for rich people that’s been soundly rejected by Congress, the president should listen to the 90 percent of parents who proudly send their kids to public schools and who have been betrayed by this administration at each and every turn,” she said.

The dial test also found that Trump’s immigration policies were popular among white millennials and white working-class men and women. After the speech, 63 percent of white working-class men, 69 percent of white millennials and 66 percent of white working-class women thought the president had the “right approach to immigration.”

These results were similar to findings by a CBS News instant poll among people who watched the president’s speech.

The network found that 72 percent of respondents said they approved of the president’s ideas for immigration and 76 percent approved of the president’s speech overall.

The positive reactions among speech watchers were echoed in a CNN instant poll. CNN found that 59 percent of viewers had a “very positive” reaction, 17 percent had a “somewhat positive” reaction and only 23 percent had a “negative reaction.”

CNN political director David Chalian told viewers that State of the Union addresses are usually watched by the president’s supporters, so data is likely to be skewed slightly.

“For a State of the Union address, the president’s partisans and supporters tend to turn out to watch the speech,” he said. “This is true of a president of either party.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith