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Biden draws second smallest State of the Union audience in at least 30 years

Viewership was down nearly 28% from the 38.2 million people who watched the president's address in 2022.
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/ Source: The Associated Press

NEW YORK — An estimated 27.3 million people watched President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on television, the second smallest audience for the annual event in at least 30 years, the Nielsen company said on Wednesday.

It was also down nearly 28% from the 38.2 million people who saw Biden’s address in 2022.

The only smaller audience since 1993 was the 26.9 million who watched Biden’s address to Congress in 2021 — not officially a State of the Union speech, since he had just taken office a few months earlier. That speech was delivered on the unusually late date of April 28.

Nielsen did not have figures available from before President Bill Clinton’s first address to Congress, which reached 66.9 million people in 1993, when entertainment options were fewer.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the people who watched Biden’s speech were 55 and older, Nielsen said. Only 5% were young adults under age 35.

The speech was carried live on 16 television networks.

Biden’s largest audience came on Fox News Channel, where the speech was seen by 4.69 million people, Nielsen said. ABC had 4.41 million viewers for Biden, NBC had 3.78 million, CBS had 3.64 million, MSNBC had 3.55 million, CNN had 2.4 million and the Fox broadcast network had 1.66 million.