Nearly 46 Million Viewers Watch President Trump's State of the Union Address
Actually, the revised numbers from Nielsen place the number at 47.7 million.
The ratings and the total number of viewers were about average for the SOTU. Since Clinton's first one in 1993 there have been 26. This year's finished 12th in TV ratings and 7th in total audience. Bill Clinton peaked around 67 million, Dubya around 62 million, Obama around 52. That's a pretty solid performance for Trump, although The Donald is never one to accept either (a) bring "pretty solid" or (b) "the facts." As you know, he lives in his own bubble, in a universe where he set the all-time record. Did you expect anything different?
The same point applies to his crowing about the positive response. On the surface it seems quite good that 70% of Americans watching the speech had at least a "somewhat positive" reaction. And that's again pretty solid. I think most people thought he would go off-script and say something utterly idiotic, or maybe include dumb or crazy stuff in the actual speech, as Dubya often did. (Human-animal hybrids? Yellowcake shopping in Africa?) But Trump managed to sound sane, positive and even conciliatory. For Trump and his advisors, that's a big win. But of course Trump is not going to Tweet. "Thank God I didn't fuck up, as people expected." He's going to gush about the public reaction, with a score that sounds pretty good ...
... until you realize that 70% positive is the worst score of all time, at least since anybody has been keeping track of that response.