For reaction on the president's State of the Union message, NBC News went to Pennsylvania — a key swing state in the upcoming midterm elections — and got views from two Republicans, three Democrats and a Libertarian gathered at Bryn Mawr College.
When they all sat down to listen, they were anxious for positive news.
“I was very happy with it,” says Republican John Jenchura.
Jenchura says the president addressed everything that matters to him, including “the war on terrorism, the economy and homeland security. The substance of his talk for me was right on,” he says.
Joanne Mullen is also a registered Republican. Her family has known firsthand what it's like to have someone serve in the military. Did the president speak to her concerns?
“He said that he didn't want to pull of out Iraq right away,” she says. “And I totally agree with that. I think it would be a disaster if we were to remove our troops immediately.”
Andrea Lynch, a Democrat, was impressed by the president's call for exploring alternative fuel sources, but she wanted more.
“If he had started that initiative four-and-a-half years ago,” Lynch says, “we'd be within two years of having alternative fuel sources here. Six-and-a-half years is an awfully long time to have to wait now.”
Quinton Cross, a Democrat who moved to Pennsylvania after he lost everything in Hurricane Andrew, says he was disappointed the president didn't talk more about rebuilding the Gulf Coast.
“It struck a nerve somewhat, just for the small fact that it was like an afterthought,” Cross says. “I wanted to hear what's the future of New Orleans? What's going to happen? Where are people going to go? Are they going to go back? I mean, are they going to even rebuild it to a place where people had hoped to return?”
Millie Bond, a Democrat, is a history teacher who keeps an open mind.
“I would agree that this delivery was certainly very strong,” she says. “I'd give him a B+. But as far as covering issues like Katrina, which affected this country greatly since his last speech, or State of the Union, he didn't do a great job, in my opinion, of covering those issues. So — I'd give him a C-.”
Recent college graduate Shaun Edwards, a Libertarian, has doubts about the strength of the economy but says the president's speech was reassuring.
“It may not improve his approval rating,” Edwards says, “but at least it will almost serve to energize the American people.”
Six American voters, with mixed views — each finding something they needed to hear.