Joe Biden’s SOTU address garnered the lowest ratings for a president’s first official State of the Union address in 30 years. Someone should probably inform Biden’s Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, of that fact, as he went around and falsely claimed 78% of American voters approved of Biden’s speech.
“More than 38 million Americans tuned in to President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, the lowest viewing figures for a commander-in-chief’s first SOTU in at least 30 years,” the New York Post reports. “According to Nielsen Media Research, approximately 27.4 million households watched Biden’s hour-long address live on 16 different networks for a 22.4 rating.”
President Donald Trump’s first SOTU address garnered a 26.9 rating with an estimated 45.5 million viewers; President Obama’s received a 29.8 rating with approximately 48 million viewers; George W. Bush got a 33.6 rating with around 51.8 million viewers, and Bill Clinton grabbed a 32.9 rating with an estimated 45.8 million Americans watching.
Although Biden did technically give a State of the Union address last April, he had not been in office for a full year, so that speech is not considered an official State of the Union address. That so-called SOTU received an abysmal 16.5 rating with 27 million viewers.
“The idea of not calling the first address the State of the Union is a relatively new practice in American history,” ABC 10 explains.
The Congressional Research Service states: “The past seven Presidents have chosen not to give an official State of the Union address the year they were first inaugurated, having just previously delivered an inaugural address.”
“In each instance their first speech to a joint session of Congress closely followed their inauguration, but was not officially categorized as a ‘State of the Union Message,’” the Congressional Research Service continues.
Almost immediately after Biden’s State of the Union speech, Ron Klain boasted that, according to a CBS News poll, 78% of voters approved of the speech.
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) March 2, 2022
In his haste to celebrate what he believed to be a moment of triumph, Biden’s Chief of Staff neglected to mention the true statistic: CBS News reported that it wasn’t 78% of voters who approved of the speech, but 78% of people who actually watched the speech.
CBS News admitted, “As we’ve seen with previous presidents’ State of the Union speeches, those who watched tonight are more likely to be from the president’s own political party, boosting approval of the speech.” As the leftist site Vox wrote in 2019, “Generally, a greater proportion of people who watch the State of the Union address tend to be from the president’s party.”
The Daily Wire reported in late January:
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is taking heat from moderate Democrats and leaders in Congress over President Joe Biden’s failure to move key administrative priorities forward.
Klain is widely seen as a friend to the progressive wing of the party that pushes ideas such as universal healthcare and defunding police departments. The White House chief of staff’s apparent cozy disposition toward the Democratic Party’s extreme Left has soured many of the party’s moderate members, according to reports.
NBC News interviewed dozens of administration officials, congressional officials, and Democratic allies on Klain’s popularity on Capitol Hill. According to the outlet: “The main criticisms of Klain, whether from current or former Biden staff members or those who consider themselves allies of the president, flow from a single idea: that Biden has strayed from his core brand as a pragmatic, empathetic politician who won the Democratic nomination as a moderate willing to compromise. They see Klain as the person responsible for that. His ubiquitous presence on Twitter has solidified that view, particularly for those who see it as being out of step with a 2020 campaign that deliberately tuned out cable news pundits and ‘blue checks’ on social media.”
Source: The Daily Wire