On the occasion of his 100th day in office, President Joe Biden presented his vision of America after the pandemic to a small fraction of socially distanced lawmakers. Some conservative emcees say the speech, Biden’s first to Congress as president, didn’t get applauded reviews.
James T. Harris, a conservative radio host, and social media personality posted relevant things on his Facebook wall. He lists television grades for five past presidential addresses. Four from retired President Donald Trump and one from Biden. The post asserts Biden’s address to Congress had only 11.6 million observers, compared to 37.2 million viewers for Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech.
This suggests over a 60% decline in viewership, Harris’ post says. No crowds ever accompanied his rallies. There was no crowd at his installation. There are no views for his virtual speeches. The audience for his formal speeches is non-existent. Virtually no observers at home. An empty hall for his speech,… and yet we are to believe he earned 81 million votes.
Harris referred to The Conservative Tree House, a website that circulated the same claim in a blog post of 29 April. As evidence, the Conservative Tree House linked to a website called the TV Ratings Guide.
Biden didn’t win… we all realize it, says an image in the Conservative Tree House’s post on social media handle.
The election claim is untrue — Biden won the 2020 presidential election with 306 electoral votes. Whereas Trump received 232 votes. And the Conservative Treehouse understated the cumulative viewership for Biden’s address to Congress.
USA TODAY asked Harris and the Conservative Treehouse for comment.
Biden’s address had a totaled 26.9 million viewers
The Conservative Tree House considerably told miscalculated rating. The ratings for Biden’s primetime address. The president’s speech amassed 26.9 million viewers, not 11.6 million.
Nielsen’s accordance to a widely cited corporation that tracks TV viewership. Nielsen’s estimate, which was published the day after Biden’s address, incorporates viewers for 16 networks that voiced the speech.
The TV Rating Guide estimated Biden’s address had 12.2 million viewers. However, that only accounts for four networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox — making Nielsen’s count a better estimate for the speech’s total viewership.
The Conservative Tree House has a question about Biden’s speech collecting lower ratings than Trump’s talks to Congress. Compared with Nielsen’s conclusions, the blog’s list of viewers for Trump’s four State of the Union deals with is in the ballpark, although it rounds up considerably for some years. In 2020, Trump’s address to Congress caught 37.1 million viewers which is more than 38% more than Biden’s speech had.
However, that ratings recession may have more to do with TV tendencies than who’s in the White House.
Nielsen’s ratings also don’t occupy all the ways folk can view content online. The most-watched State of the Union addresses from the ages of Barack Obama and George W. Bush. The time when internet wasn’t as widely used, topped 52 million and 62 million, respectively.
Biden events not much attended, Blame COVID-19?
The rating figure isn’t the only spot this post goes false.
A recurring line of raid against Biden is that his rallies, speeches, and other in-person events don’t persuade large crowds. There’s truth to that assertion, but it lacks context about why those events are sparsely observed.
Biden ran for president during the coronavirus pestilence when in-person gatherings were restricted to prevent the spread of the virus. While Trump’s campaign continued rallies in the ultimate months of the election season. The analysts said, led to a spike in COVID-19 cases. While the Biden campaign held keeping in mind social distancing norms.
In other words, Biden’s events lived slightly in part because he chose to keep things in his accordance.