The debate over the accuracy of President George W. Bush's statement in his January 28th State of the Union message that Iraq was attempting to buy uranium from an African country has gone on without people asking one critical question: How much difference did it make to the people watching?
At the time, the answer was "not much."
The CBS News real-time assessment of the State of the Union address, conducted by Knowledge Networks, measuring the moment-by-moment reactions of a nationwide random sample of speech watchers, found almost no movement at all in favorable opinions while the president talked about that component of his argument for taking on Saddam Hussein.
In fact, as CBS News Correspondent Jane Clayson reported in the special report following the State of the Union message, reaction during the president's discussion of Iraq was "muted."
As was the case throughout the address, Republicans reacted more favorably than either Democrats or Independents.
The statement about uranium affected none of the three political groups, either favorably or unfavorably.
This CBS News poll was conducted by Knowledge Networks among a nationwide random sample of 638 State of the Union viewers. This is a scientifically representative poll of viewers' reaction to the speech. Knowledge Networks, a Silicon Valley company, conducted the poll among a sample of adult members of its household panel who said in recent days that they intended to watch the speech. The Knowledge Networks panel is a nationally representative sample given access to the Internet via Web TV.
For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.