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Ratings for Trump's State of the Union were his worst yet

Donald Trump has never achieved higher ratings for a State of the Union than President Barack Obama’s 48 million viewers in 2010.

By Oliver Willis - February 05, 2020
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The preliminary overnight ratings for Donald Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech show a serious decline from his speech last year.

“President Trump’s State of the Union address is on course for a smaller viewership than in the previous three years of his presidency,” Variety reported.

A total of 15.9 million viewers watched Trump across the four major broadcast networks, a decline of 21% from the ratings he earned on those networks in 2019.

Trump saw viewers tune out and change the channels on several of the networks who saw their ratings lowered from the 8 p.m. hour as the speech began at 9 p.m.

On NBC, Trump’s address got over 600,000 fewer viewers than “Ellen’s Game of Games,” which aired the hour prior on the station. A repeat of “NCIS” on CBS that aired just before the State of the Union had more viewers than Trump by nearly 1.4 million, and over 450,000 more people watched a rerun of “The Conners” on ABC at 8 p.m. than tuned in for Trump at 9 p.m.

Trump did get a slight increase in ratings from “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back,” which aired the hour before his address on Fox News.

Trump was once the star of NBC’s “The Apprentice” and has frequently cited television ratings as an indication of political strength and cultural relevance.

Viewers who turned off the State of the Union address missed out on Trump lying about immigrants, giving the Medal of Freedom to a racist, lying about protecting preexisting conditions and manufacturing jobs, and misleading on a host of other issues.

When ratings across all networks were tabulated, Trump hit his highest ratings for a State of the Union in 2019 with 46.8 million. He has yet to best President Barack Obama’s highest ratings, when over 48 million tuned in for his address 2019.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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