Overnight ratings are in for President Donald Trump's first joint address to Congress — and Trump was probably hoping for better numbers.
Trump's speech had an overnight rating of 27.8 on the Nielsen scale, meaning that just more than one-quarter of all Americans tuned in at one time or another during the 90-minute address, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The rating does not count the number of people who streamed the event online, and only includes the number of households who tuned in on the major networks: NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN and MSNBC.
Fox News had the highest rating of the six major broadcast and cable networks, according to THR.
The rating for Trump's speech was down 17 percent from former President Barack Obama's first joint address to Congress in 2009, which had an initial overnight rating of 33.4. An estimated 33.4 million viewers tuned in to hear Obama lay out his agenda. The actual number of estimated viewers is not yet available for Trump's address.
Obama's 2009 joint address garnered more viewers than any of his seven subsequent State of the Union speeches. But, as The Hollywood Reporter pointed out, this could be due to the fact that Obama took office at a time of great economic uncertainty, not just in the U.S., but around the world.
Former President Bill Clinton's 1993 joint address also drew more viewers than any of his State of the Union speeches, with an estimated 66.9 million people watching. Not even Clinton's 1999 State of the Union, which came just one month after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him, was close to the size of the audience he drew in 1993.
Trump, a former reality TV star who has regularly obsessed over ratings, usually via Twitter, has not yet weighed in on Tuesday's figures. The White House has instead chosen to focus on how well received the speech was. Press secretary Sean Spicer called attention in a tweet Wednesday to a CNN poll, which found that 57 percent of those who watched the president's speech had a very positive reaction.
(H/T: Daily Caller)