Trump Inauguration Ratings

Trump Inauguration Draws TV Audience of 30.6 Mil, Down 19% vs. Obama 2009

Friday’s coverage of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States amassed 30.6 million total viewers, Nielsen reports.

That tally — which accounts for live coverage from approximately 10 am to 6 pm ET, across ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Galavision, HLN and MSNBC — falls 19 percent below the audience for Barack Obama’s own first swearing-in (37.8 million), on Jan. 20, 2009, when a quarter of all households tuned in.

In D.C., Obama’s 2009 inauguration drew an in-person crowd of 1.8 million, while Trump’s… well, we quite frankly may never really know. Unvetted reports have ranged from 250,000 people to the “largest [inauguration crowd] ever” (per newly installed White House press secretary Sean Spicer). The National Park Service ceased estimating how many people attend events on the National Mall after a dispute over the headcount for the Million Man March in 1995.

The first inauguration of some previous POTUSes drew TV audiences as follows: George W. Bush (29 million, 2001), Bill Clinton (29.7 million, 1993), George H.W. Bush (23.3 million, 1989), Ronald Reagan (41.8 million, 1981), Jimmy Carter (34.1 million, 1977) and Richard Nixon (27 million, 1969).

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71 Comments
  1. Temperance says:

    Frankly, it disgusts me that anyone would watch that trainwreck. And before he could officially stain the White House, Trump had already violated the Constitution and is now impeachable.

    • loveNY says:

      Great. Then you can have even more fun with Pence.

      • Angela says:

        I can’t stand Pence, either, but I’m less scared of him having access to our nuclear codes than I am Trump having access to them, so…there’s that?

      • Temperance says:

        Yes, Pence is worse – but that’s barely as shade of horror to horror. And to be honest and lawful, if someone is a crook, they need to be prosecuted. Courts don’t pick and choose consequences based on extraneous outcomes.

        • Mary says:

          What a choice insane or a bigot. Neither are appealing. Not to mention the congress who are for the top 1% and no backbone to do what is right.

    • DL says:

      As a liberal, I watched because, on the one hand, I needed to see this happen for it to sink in, and understand the new reality (show) we’re living in. On the other hand, I watched because I’m tired of being in my liberal bubble, and I decided it was the right thing to do to support the 48% of the country who voted for this man, even if I don’t much feel like supporting the man himself.

      • Robert45 says:

        Also a liberal and to be honest wasn’t a fan of either candidates so I didn’t really have the end of the world opinion that others who are loyal Democrats have had when he was elected. For a number of reasons – because (call it denial) but when push came to shove and he was up there taking the oath, I thought reality will kick in and the people around him will have groomed him so that he tries to unite the country the way that any President (Democrat or Republican) will do so. He is an American, he will want to do the best for his own kids and grandkids and he will do his best to act presidential. The other way I rationalized him becoming President was that he doesn’t have carte blanche to do whatever he wants and there are enough Republicans who have said maybe we shouldn’t repeal Obamacare and look at how to modify it and make it better for the 20 million Americans who depend on it and the same goes for him starting WW3 – he needs approval.

        But then he gets up and makes that speech yesterday, which for a guy who said he wanted to unite the country in his acceptance speech just a few weeks ago; did little to nothing to reach out to the other side as in the people who didn’t vote for him and made it sound as though we were living in a hellish country. Then Sean Spicer gets up and lets lose on the damn media about the numbers who turned up for the inauguration. I’m sorry but I was of the opinion for the longest time that career politicians are in it for themselves and maybe someone from the outside like Trump who has been in charge of a successful business could shake things up. You are now President, time to step up to the plate and do the damn job. I don’t care about how many people turned up to hear you or your fights with the media. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and show us how you are going to “make America great again”. Otherwise shut the hell up and go back to Trump tower and let someone else do the job.

        • Grey'sFan says:

          Did you watch Law & Order SVU this week, with the family retail dynasty? Not sure if it was a “ripped from the headlines” story but the grandfather/father sure reminded be of a certain reality TV star…

        • Darsan54 says:

          I appreciate your sincerity, but our President Dump cares nothing for no one, including his children and grandchildren. Camels and needles said Jesus.

          • Trumind says:

            You’re so filled with hate for someone with different views than you, that you sink to a level where lies and insults fill your entire comment.

        • Trumind says:

          He said America comes first, who can be on the other side of that? Who would he reach out to? People who believe America shouldn’t come first?

      • Trumind says:

        Congratulations, you passed the humanity test!

    • Scott says:

      What are smoking ? What did he violate? You are a pathetic liberal need to grow up put your big girl pants on and move on . That piece of garbage we had before is not coming back to the White House to screw up more stuff .

  2. popeye013 says:

    Would you wanna watch this predator and disaster be sworn in to ruin your country?
    Nope…..

  3. Wordsmith says:

    Trump: Biggest viewership numbers ever, once you subtract all of the dead people and illegals who watched Obama in ’09!

    • SG says:

      Pay attention, everyone. The media is being manipulated to only talk about what the administration wants to talk about.
      The media should be talking about the Executive Order that will be dumping health insurance and mortgage deductions for working class families. They should be asking tough questions of a campaign that got elected pretending they were going to work on behalf of the poor and middle class. But this was another handout to the rich.
      The Trump administration knows they can deflect talk of real important events by overblowing drama and the media is addicted to reporting drama especially the 24/7 news channel cycle.
      It is only going to get worse, any time the administration needs to deflect talk about a horrible action they just did, Trump will come out and start yelling about something. This is media manipulation tactics made famous by the Soviets. Stop falling for it! Start contacting your representatives and the media and demand they talk about the real important issues instead.

  4. Raul J says:

    Irregardless of how many people watched, it’s SOO nice to have a president with cojones again!

  5. Josh says:

    Daaaamn Regan, those are some numbers!

    I do find it funny Spicer lied so hard about viewership too. Great start!

  6. Angela says:

    Definitely did not watch this mess yesterday. I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through the Obamas’ minds. Obama’s being replaced by a guy who spent years questioning his birthplace and making a fuss over his birth certificate. Talk about insulting.
    .
    Did get a kick out of seeing the pictures comparing the massive crowd for Obama to the much smaller one for Trump, though :D. If that doesn’t say it all…

    • DL says:

      That’s what drives me nuts the most about this: conservatives complaining about how liberals won’t recognize Trump as a legitimate president. Did they just wipe the “birther” movement completely from their memories? Trump to this day hasn’t apologized for it, even though he himself acknowledged on the campaign trail it was completely false.
      .
      Personally I do accept Trump as POTUS, even if I’m not happy about it. But honestly folks, turnabout is fair play. You can’t spread rumors about a Democratic president being a secret Muslim born in Kenya, and then cry foul when the liberals talk about a Republican president being a vagina-groping Russian patsy. I don’t really see the difference. Trump aside, to this day I still haven’t seen any other high-ranking Republicans apologize for birtherism, either. As recently as last year, 41% of Republicans still believed Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. Whose fault is that? Just ask Newt Gingrich, who said Obama could only be understood by people who “understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.” What the hell was this guy talking about?
      .
      Republicans had the chance to put it to bed, and they didn’t; they just made it worse. I myself don’t see anything to be gained by refusing to recognize Trump’s legitimacy, but honestly those complaining don’t have a leg to stand on, as far as I’m concerned.

      • Angela says:

        Agree with every single word of your post. Well said.

      • Temperance says:

        I don’t accept Trump as a president for about a half-dozen legitimate reasons. He’s illegitimate. And I find the inherent false dichotomy in your position makes it ring somewhat untrue. This is no tit-for-tat Democrat/Republican issue. If Trump were a sane, decent human being this would not be happening even if he were a Republican.

        • Scott says:

          I don’t except you have a brain because you talk out of your butt you liberal idiot . Now stop being a baby and get over it .

          • Mary says:

            When making a rebuttal on someone’s opinion please learn how to make a coherent intelligent response. Name calling shows ignorance. I have notice several times on these post that you really are uneducated on proper words and usage. A dictionary is a wonderful tool available in stores near you or on the internet. Accept or except totally different meaning. Sad really when the word was used in the post you are responding too.

        • Fabrizia says:

          How is he illegitimate?

        • KCC says:

          You don’t list your reasons he’s illegitimate and saying “about” means to me you don’t really have any specific actionable reasons. If there were even one, believe you me, those actions would be in process. Please get your head out of the sand and start doing productive things to oppose anything you don’t like that our new president tries to enact.

      • Jenna says:

        Perfectly stated.

  7. Rdub says:

    Trump: “Nuh uh”

  8. Eric says:

    Aww, fewer people watched “the ratings machine DJT” (quoting his tweet) than the last “black president for generations” (again, quoting his tweet)? What a shame, Donnie!

  9. JScout says:

    You better watch out Matt. If you report the true numbers and they’re not favorable to Trump you’re going to get put on his bad list and Sean Spicer might call you out at a press briefing. It’s a horrible new world. But today’s marches by millions all across the country and the world is very encouraging. It was a thrill to see.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Trump’s people can call me directly, just as they did in the old days re “under-reported” Apprentice ratings.

      • Rdub says:

        Sad. (tm DJT)

      • JScout says:

        I was just kind of kidding, though not really. Did Trump’s people really call you about Apprentice ratings? If so, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I don’t know how many times in the last few months I’ve said about Trump, “I can’t believe he said that. I can’t believe he did that.” I don’t think I’ll get used to it. At least I hope I don’t get used to it.

      • PatriciaLee says:

        So, it’s never been my imagination that I gravitated to this site because it was fair and balanced. Hopefully, healing can happen at any age.

  10. Tracee says:

    Trump is going to be like the Bad Girls Club he’s going to do some crazy stuff for ratings.

  11. Jason says:

    Trump had the highest ratings of any President ever!!!!!!! Period!!!!!!!

  12. Gwen says:

    I’m waiting for the tweet from Trump that says that the Nielsen company is biased against him and is “under-reporting” TV viewership.

  13. TJ says:

    Trump tweeted earlier that is was up 11 million viewers over 2013. Not sure if that is a fact, but that is where he is focusing. He also tweeted about how the CIA visit and mentioned it was a packed house with long standing ovations and called it a WIN. The spin is making me dizzy!

  14. Yeah, but... says:

    What about streaming numbers? Any comparison seems kind of silly without that information.

    • Julia says:

      Reports are the streaming numbers are well over 21 million. These numbers along with the Nielsen numbers will indeed make it the most watched inauguration.

      • :-) says:

        Prove this unsupported statement or it’s not a fact. You would also need to show Obama’s streaming numbers. You can’t just pull stuff out of your butt to justify the lie. Not the way it works

  15. Rob says:

    The real problem here is that no matter how unpopular DT is, his supporters won’t believe any of the data that is reported to the American public actually showing how unpopular he is. It will be seen as fake for the next 4 unfortunate and dark years

  16. Fred Simpson says:

    20.5 million tuned in to watch Obamas last inaugural address 4 years ago

    • Bwine says:

      Please stop with the spin. We’re comparing apples to apples here which is the reason for the comparison between the inauguration ratings for Obama’s FIRST term to Trump’s first term. It makes no sense to compare ratings for Obama’s second term to Trump’s first term.

  17. James says:

    Because TRump people had jobs to go to?

  18. Eva says:

    Well, obviously fewer people watched at home, since like 100 milion people were there to witness the thing live, duh! This totally supports his version. Totes. And every one of them saw how huge his hands are, too!

  19. Jenks says:

    Or, in the world of alternative facts, 2.5 trillion people watched the 2016 inauguration and only 2 watched Obama in 2012.

  20. Scott Burks says:

    It’s funny how the press is gloating over the low numbers at the inauguration and in the viewing audience. It is pretty simple really, Republicans have jobs and liberals live off the system. The liberals can stay home and watch tv, or go out and cause havoc while the Trump supporters are working at jobs so the sorry ass liberals can use their food stamps to buy doritos and big gulps.

    • Mary says:

      Wait a minute I thought those rust belt voters didn’t have jobs that is why he was elected to bring them back? Can’t have it both ways. Your statement once again is based on alternative facts not truth. You know the saying when making assumptions.

    • Rob says:

      Where are you getting your information? If you believe the conservative blogs that say that Red State Welfare is a myth of the liberal media then you you should be comfortable with the lies the new white house press secretary Sean Spicer is going to be telling us for the next 4 years. The truth is that typically Red States, the states that voted for Trump are the states that have the most people on welfare and contribute the least to the national economy. For every dollar they pay back to the federal government these red states take more than they give back, its that simple. Business Insider did an article in 2011 and data in early 2016 still says the same thing. It must be nice to live in a fantasy world.

      • Trumind says:

        You mean the next 8 years.

        • Rob says:

          No, Trump WILL be a one-term president. If you actually fell for his outrageous campaign promises then perhaps you Mr. Trumind need to seriously reevaluate your worldview and perhaps pick up a few hundred books on how this country actually works, read the constitution, read Howard Zinn and so many other political science and history books that will show you how badly Trump really is compared to other presidents we have had.

          His complete lack of knowledge of how to run a country (You cannot run a country like a business, anyone who says different is amazingly uninformed), his 5 Draft Deferments from military service, his amazing amount of business debt, his three marriages, his so called faith in god and his clownish orange skin make him the most easily mocked and least qualified president in recent US history. He will promise you the world but deliver on nothing because as I see it most of his promises are actually illegal and therefore unconstitutional.

  21. Sharon Hobbs says:

    Bull crap! Trump in the house!

  22. tvloverSA says:

    All hail lord DJT the self proclaimed ratings machine…… he has done it again

  23. Gryphyn3 says:

    30 mill plus the 100 million or so who watched online. So happy Trump is in.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      100 million online? Damn, that would be a massive news story. Especially since CNN, for one, had 2.3 million

      • Gryphyn3 says:

        CNN is not the epitome of news coverage. They have a history of making up facts, and even stories, using their studies, green screens and fake facts to push their agendas. The numbers are from online numbers that watched via all the streams on the event. Youtube, Facebook live, etc… Everything combined would have been over a hundred million. CNN and the mainstream news only took the numbers from sources like the Nielsen Ratings etc, which doesn’t account for online viewership.

  24. Trumind says:

    It makes sense. Everyone who watched Obama’s inauguration weren’t watching TV. They were out rioting and burning cars, harassing Trump’s supporters and those few left who support real democracy.