Can presidential speeches change minds? The evidence suggest not

The presidency may well be a “bully pulpit,” in Theodore Roosevelt’s original sense, a position that commands attention. But as President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation Tuesday in support of taking military action against Syria, there’s little evidence (at least in recent times) that presidential speeches are very effective at moving the needle on public opinion or rallying popular support against a balky Congress. [cont.]

Drew DeSilver, Pew