President Donald Trump thanked supporters for watching his State of the Union address, boasting that the Nielson ratings were “the highest number in history.”
“Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech,” he wrote. “45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history.”
The 45.6 million number comes from the Nielson ratings of both broadcast and cable viewers and does not include video streaming. Trump’s ratings beat the trend of dwindling ratings for presidential State of the Union speeches but did not beat the record.
Only 31.1 million people watched Obama’s final State of the Union address in 2016 — although Obama’s first State of the Union drew 48 million viewers.
In 2002, 52 million watched George W. Bush’s State of the Union address after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bill Clinton’s first joint address to Congress in 1993 drew 66.9 million viewers — before video streaming.
Millions of Trump supporters tuned into Fox News, allowing the cable news network to beat every TV network for the first time in history.
“FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in,” Trump wrote. “Delivered from the heart!”
Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2018
Fox News posted an official ratings tally on Twitter.
#SOTU TV Viewers:
1993: 66.9M* (largest TV audience)
*Not an official SOTU pic.twitter.com/OZlUHmGQp4
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) February 1, 2018