Trump's speech, however, did have the highest views since Obama's in 2010.
Thirty-five percent of Americans credited Trump for the economy improving, 21 percent gave Trump some credit, 20 percent did not give Trump much credit, while 19 percent gave no credit to the president for the growing economy.
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George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union, which argued for the Iraq war, was watched by 62.1 million people.
According to Nielsen, an estimated 45.6 million people tuned in to watch Trump's State of the Union speech Tuesday night - or about 2.4 million less than the 48 million who watched President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address in 2010.
In 2002, some 52 million watched Mr Bush's post-9/11 union address when he warned of the "axis of evil". "Delivered from the heart!" And he's also accurate that Fox News garnered the highest ratings, although, per Nielsen data, the network actually had 11.5 million viewers, not 11.7. By comparison, Clinton's 1998 speech was watched by more than 53 million. Bush's figure was 39.7 million. In addition to the broadcast networks, the speech was carried on several cable networks, including Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, as well as the Spanish-language channels Univision and Telemundo.
The Nielsen Co. has kept consistent records on State of the Union ratings since 1994, and there have been four State of the Union addresses with bigger audiences than Trump's on Tuesday. The New York Times notes that the figures don't include streaming.