TV Ratings for Biden's State of the Union Plummet to Historic Low as Americans Tune Out in Droves
President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech was a call for Americans to tune out, turn it off and turn on something else, if they ever watched it in the first place.
Nielsen ratings show that 27.3 million viewers tuned in for the speech Tuesday night, according to Deadline.
Last year, the 16 networks sampled by Nielson showed that 38.2 million people watched the address, giving Biden a 29 percent decrease for this year’s address.
The ratings were the lowest for a State of the Union speech in at least 30 years, Deadline reported.
The only competition in the race to the bottom came from Biden himself. His 2021 speech to Congress drew 26.9 million viewers, but that April address was not an official State of the Union address.
For reference, former President Donald Trump drew 45.6 million viewers in 2018, according to The Hill.
An age breakdown of ratings for Biden showed that 73 percent of those watching were 55 and older; 19 percent between 35 and 54; and 5 percent between 18 and 24.
Fox News was the top choice of viewers watching the speech. It had 4.69 million viewers, almost doubling the 2.4 million viewers of its cable news rival CNN. ABC’s coverage attracted 4.4 million viewers, while NBC drew 3.8 million, CBS drew 3.64 million, MSNBC totaled 3.6 million, and Fox Broadcasting added to the Fox family’s viewership with 1.66 million viewers.
TV RATINGS: Fox News was the most-watched TV channel for SOTU coverage in total viewers on Tuesday, led by these hours:
1. SOTU w/ @BretBaier @marthamaccallum @brithume @HaroldFordJr
3. @TuckerCarlson https://t.co/CKCbSooij9 pic.twitter.com/nh7pRwnbry
— TV News Now (@TVNewsNow) February 8, 2023
Nielsen’s figures date back to 1993, when former President Bill Clinton drew 66.9 million people, according to NBC News.
Biden’s speech Tuesday was panned by David Wilezol, former chief speechwriter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and president of the ghostwriting firm Seventh Floor Strategies, according to Fox News.
“State of the Union speeches are almost always boring, but hardly ever has a president said less in more than an hour of speaking than Joe Biden did tonight. While packed with a kitchen sink list of so-called accomplishments that may sell politically, this sleepy address lacked any memorable lines or displays of political courage,” Wilezol told the outlet.
“He would also be courageous to tell the American people the truth about the sacrifices that will be necessary to properly confront Chinese aggression rather than pretending to be tough on President Xi. Americans instead were subject to a preview of his presidential campaign that will be memorable to exactly no one,” he said.
President Biden squandered an opportunity tonight.
It was an angry, divisive, and fundamentally dishonest speech. #SOTU pic.twitter.com/57gDxPDq9C
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 8, 2023
Speaking before the address, Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida had been wishing he could tune it out.
“The president talks too long. He’s boring. He talks too long, and he’s boring. Last year’s speech was like an hour? And he’s boring. Like, at least be interesting. So, I’d rather be home,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner.
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