Trump nabs 45.6 million viewers for his first State of the Union address

During his State of the Union address, President Trump made a call for unity, and a new poll reveals the American people were receptive. Nathan Rousseau Smith (@FantasticMrNate) reports.

President Trump averaged 45.6 million viewers for his first State of the Union address, according to Nielsen estimates for 12 broadcast and cable networks.

Trump’s turnout was down about 2 million from his speech last year, officially known as an Address to the Joint Sessions of Congress in the first year of a presidency.  And it fell below similar speeches in President Obama’s first two years in office: 52.4 million in 2009 and 48 million a year later.

But the combined total, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET, outdrew Fox’s NFC Championship football game on Jan. 21 by about 3 million viewers.

Related:  State of the Union fact check

Fox News Channel claimed about one of every four viewers Tuesday, with 11.5 million for the most-watched network. Well over half of the combined total — 26.6 million — was by viewers ages 55 and older, while just 4.2 million adults ages 18 to 34 watched, Nielsen says.

Ratings typically decline in later years of a presidency: Obama’s audience dipped steadily throughout his eight-year term, to 31.3 million in 2016, his last year in office.

First lady Melania Trump appeared for President Trump’s first State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill Tuesday night, riding to the Capitol in a car without her husband and choosing instead to “honor” her SOTU guests by escorting them herself.

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Jeff Rocco