President Reagan 's Presidential Speech

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after his statement on his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair in November of 1986. The data in Table 1 show that President Reagan’s speeches did in fact make him more popular, as more speeches increased his popularity rather than decreased it. Out of the speeches analyzed, seventy-three percent showed an increase in approval ratings, with an average increase of four percent. Upon a closer examination Table 1, it is evident that some of the speeches may be regarded as outliers in comparison with the rest of the data. In order to identify outliers, I looked for speeches with a change in approval of eight percent or greater. Based on Table 1, the four outlier speeches include Reagan’s Space Shuttle speech, the Soviet-U.S. Summit speech, the Iran-Contra address, and the 1986 State of the Union Address. Because the data in Table 1 indicates that Reagan’s speeches had a modest effect of his popularity (in general), I am hesitant to make broad generalizations about why certain speeches were able to have a greater effect on his popularity. Eleven out of the fifteen speeches show less than an 8% change in approval ratings, representing a moderate and unexceptional change. Reagan’s speeches may have increased his popularity, but Graph 1 shows that the overall trend in approval ratings fluctuated during his years in the White House. The two speeches that most dramatically effected Reagan’s approval ratings were the Soviet-U.S. Summit speech and the Iran-Contra speech, both
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