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Clarus Research Group Survey: Top Political Strategists React to Obama's Health Care Speech, Rate Effectiveness
Date:9/10/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Immediately after President Obama's speech to a Joint Session of Congress last night, Clarus Research Group surveyed 44 of the nation's top political, legislative and communications strategists -- representing a broad array of expertise in politics, government, media consulting, lobbying, and public relations.

The Results:

  • "Democrats were very happy with the speech, but most reactions were short of wild enthusiasm," said Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus. Democrats gave Obama an average rating of 8.0 on a 10-point scale.
  • "While Democrats thought it was a solid, effective - even great - speech, some expressed doubts about its long-term political effect," Faucheux said. "Some Democrats also said the speech was too late in coming."
  • "Republicans were predictably negative on the substance, but thought Obama's delivery was impressive," said Faucheux. Republicans gave Obama an average rating of 6.2.
  • Nonpartisans gave Obama an average rating of 7.2. "They thought the speech was more effective at accomplishing Obama's immediate legislative goal of passing health care reform than his long-term political goals, including re-election," Faucheux said.
  • Respondents from all three groups gave Obama high marks for presentation. Interestingly, Republicans gave Obama a rating in this category almost as high as did independents and even Democrats.

Selected comments from Republicans surveyed:

  • The speech was too short on details.
  • He's in love with his own oratory.
  • He was more effective early on when he showed determination to succeed.
  • Turning this into a moral imperative to fulfill Ted Kennedy's last breath insults the intelligence of a lot of voters.
  • Classic Obama in delivery, ton
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SOURCE Clarus Research Group
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