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.
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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.

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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.
USA TODAY

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Jeff Rocco