Mark Blumenthal isn't a big fan of instant polls, like the ones we are likely to see tonight after Obama's speech. The polls are skewed because those who watch such speeches are likely to be supporters of the president. Also, historically these sort of speeches don't tend to move approval ratings. His bottom line:
For all the similarity to 1993, this speech provides its own new and hard to predict "model." The speech is coming much later in the debate, and for all the evident passion of opponents, many Americans remain both interested and confused. As this week's Pew Research Center New Interest Index poll shows, virtually all Americans (93%) consider health care reform important, 73% say it affects them personally, 40% to 49% say they have been following the issue "very closely, but a huge number (67%) also says the subject is "hard to understand." That sounds like a recipe for a large audience that is potentially more attentive and persuadable than for most previous presidential addresses. But we shall see.