President Biden’s first address to Congress absolutely cratered in viewership compared to former President Trump’s address in 2017, dropping by a whopping 44 percent according to just-released Nielson ratings.
An estimated 26.9 million Americans watched Biden spanning 16 broadcast and cable networks. Contrast that with the 47.7 million who viewed Trump’s first speech to a joint session on February 28, 2017.
The bulk of Biden’s audience was reportedly comprised of Americans who were 55 and older. That includes out-of-home viewing but it did not capture all online viewership. The address was broadcasted across 16 networks including Fox News Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, PBS, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Newsmax, NewsNation, and Newsy.
The speech was widely applauded by the media and leftists but conservatives criticized it heavily for promoting an all-powerful government, stripping Americans of their rights, and for advocating spending trillions that could potentially bankrupt our nation.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
The first of the two huge spending plans proposed by Biden was the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan. If implemented, it would address issues such as corporate tax hikes, paid leave, child care, caregiving, housing, kitchens for healthier school lunches, eldercare, and climate change.
The second proposed plan is the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which will massively increase social welfare services. That includes such items as universal pre-k and tuition-paid community college.
As presidents before him, Biden walked down the center aisle in the House chamber and was applauded by his party. He then took his position at the podium and proceeded to pitch his massive spending plans and his big-government agenda.
The President entered a room where everyone had been vaccinated wearing a mask. Only 200 lawmakers were invited to the event and most were Democrats. Only a handful of Republicans reportedly attended. A big deal was made of Vice President Kamala Harris being the first woman in line to succeed the President and she sat next to fellow progressive, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The speech was a long one, clocking in at just over an hour and many contend that it was incessantly boring in nature. A number of conservatives actually dozed off during Biden’s meandering proposals.
A CBS-YouGov poll raised eyebrows when it reported that 85 percent of viewers loved the speech. However, according to both CBS and Snopes, the audience that partook in that poll was comprised of mostly Democrats. CBS originally reported that more than eight in 10 viewers who tuned in approved of President Biden’s speech. Of those who watched, 54% identified as Democrats, 18% as Republicans, and 25% as Independent.
It turns out that Biden’s address was one of the least-watched presidential speeches in recent history.
By contrast, Trump’s lowest rating for a congressional speech was 37.2 million, and that occurred in 2020.
CBS was not the only network with challenges when it came to touting Biden’s speech. MSNBC actually had trouble finding people who watched the address at all.
Newsbusters reported that NBC News correspondent Priscilla Thompson said on Thursday ahead of Biden’s drive-in rally in Georgia to celebrate his first 100 days in office: “I’ve got to tell you, most of the folks that I’ve spoken to here did not actually watch Joe Biden’s address last night,” Thompson informed MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson. “I’ve spoken to around a dozen folks and only two of them watched and listened to what he had to say last night.”
Jackson then spoke with correspondent Ellison Barber, who was in Florida, and asked her what “voters” there thought of Biden’s address: “Yeah, we’re seeing some of what Priscilla touched on there,” Barber noted. “About two-thirds of the people who we have tried to talk to here said they did not watch the president’s address — not necessarily because they were boycotting it or intentionally not watching it, they just went to bed, they had to work, they had other things. This wasn’t top of their to-do list, though many said they plan to catch up on it sometime today.”
Commenters on Twitter were not surprised or impressed:
I wish President Trump would give an actual State of the Union speech tonight while Biden is reading the teleprompter. The ratings differences would be amusing.
— ßøβ (@rsech57) April 28, 2021
I bet tonight Joe Biden speech to Congress will have lower ratings than the Oscar’s had this past Sunday
— Zeke_its me (@MaxaZeke) April 28, 2021
Biden’s low low speech ratings are what happens when the entire news media know they don’t have to watch because they can’t be honest about anything they see anyway.
— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) April 29, 2021
If you take all the viewers that watched Joe Biden last night and all the people that watched the Oscars on Sunday then times it by 2, you would still be 8m short of President Trumps first SOTU speech
Apparently hating America isn't good for rating
— vince langman (@LangmanVince) April 29, 2021
You'd think some of those +80 million Biden voters* would have showed up to listen to the most popular president in history give his first big speech.
Incredible how these 80 million Americans* never show on ratings, rallies, YouTube live feeds, boat parades, whatever
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 29, 2021
Joe Biden’s ratings for his first address to a joint session of Congress are stunningly low ( 22.6 million viewers).
That’s a drop of 47% from 43 million for Donald Trump’s first speech.
— Dr. Jimmy Yam (@JimmyJoeYam) April 30, 2021
CHRIS WALLACE (D-FOX): "I think this is gonna be a popular speech with the American people."
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) April 29, 2021
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