State of the Union ratings are down from last year

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The TV audience rating is dropping for Barack Obama.

About 37.75 million viewers tuned in Tuesday to watch President Obama deliver his State of the Union address, according to the Nielsen Company.

The speech, in which Obama called for a minimum tax for millionaires and addressed mortgage refinancing, was carried live across 14 networks — including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and CNN — from 9 to 10:15 p.m. EST.


Tuesday’s viewership was down 13% from last year’s State of the Union speech, which was watched by 42.79 million people, and a much bigger dip from the 48 million who watched his first in 2010.

In 2008, President George W. Bush’s State of the Union was watched by 37.5 million.

On the cable platform, Fox News dominated in total viewers for the presidential address with 3.81 million viewers. MSNBC, for the first time, came out ahead of CNN with 2.82 million viewers to CNN’s 2.67 million; CNN beat MSNBC among those ages 25-54.


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--Yvonne Villarreal