The president's message about helping the middle class resonated broadly with voters -- but they wonder if he can get it done.
Good news for President Obama: Swing voters liked his State of the Union speech.
The message they took away from Tuesday night's address is that the president has a plan for the economy and ideas to help the middle class. And they have a renewed optimism about Obama and his agenda, though they remain skeptical that Washington can get anything done.
That was the conclusion of a focus group of 44 Denver swing voters conducted by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg during the speech. While that size of sample can't be considered scientific, similar groups convened by Greenberg for other speeches and debates have proved a good early indicator of public sentiment.
In the past, Greenberg told reporters after conducting the focus group, Obama's attempts to make a case that things are improving have often been rejected by voters who don't see it that way. But on Tuesday, "When he spoke about the economy beginning to improve, he didn't lose them," Greenberg said. They didn't ratchet up the dials they were using to record their responses in real time, "but in prior speeches, the lines went down, and that didn't happen here. He was able to make his case on the direction of the country."