State of the Union ratings suffer historic drop 

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

President Joe Biden’s annual speech to the nation was less than three-quarters as popular with American viewers in 2023 than it was in 2022.

According to a report by entertainment site Deadline, Tuesday’s State of the Union speech was the least viewed of its kind in the modern history of television ratings.

All told, viewership dropped from 38.2 million in 2022 to 27.3 million this year, a 29% decrease and a fall so precipitous that one would have to go back more than 30 years to find its equal, if one could even find it then.

Prior to the advent of cable, the State of the Union played on every channel available through terrestrial television, so its viewership was necessarily high.

It’s impossible to say what caused the downturn as there were numerous competing factors in play.

Deadline posited that part of Biden’s problem was that he spoke on the same night that NBA star LeBron James broke the NBA’s all-time scoring record.

Republicans have been mum on the topic of State of the Union viewership, a strange phenomenon given just how poorly Biden’s speech was received by the right.

“Biden’s State of the Union Speech was angry, divisive, and out of touch,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted Friday.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.), who made headlines by dressing in all white and shouting to Biden that he was a liar during the State of the Union, summed the speech, “At the State of the Union, Joe Biden did what he does best – LIE! I won’t apologize for calling him out.”

It’s important to note that the State of the Union was still a ratings bonanza in terms of modern television, but its grand total of viewers was drawn from a combination of more than a dozen networks.

By comparison, last year’s Super Bowl, which aired on a single network, brought in 99.18 million viewers. The 2023 College Football Playoff Championship Game drew 17.2 million viewers and last week’s Grammys had an estimated 12.4 million viewers.