Someone should tell Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, who falsely claimed 78% of American voters approved of President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, that Biden’s address garnered the lowest ratings for a president’s first official State of the Union address in 30 years.
“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 reported. “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.”
Moving from most recent Sate of the Union addresses toward the past, President Trump’s first SOTU address grabbed a 26.9 rating with an estimated 45.5 million viewers; President Obama’s received a 29.8 rating with 48 million viewers; George W. Bush got a 33.6 rating with 51.8 million viewers and Bill Clinton garnered a 32.9 rating with 45.8 million Americans watching.
Although Biden gave a State of the Union address last April, he had not served in office for a full year so that address is not considered an official State of the Union address; it received a paltry 16.5 rating with 27 million viewers. Various sites referred to the speech as Biden’s first SOTU.
“The idea of not calling the first address the State of the Union is a relatively new practice in American history,” ABC 10 explained. The Congressional Research Service stated, “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.” It continued, “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.’”
On Tuesday night, following President Biden’s State of the Union speech, 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 thought was a moment of triumph, Klain 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.”