Joe Biden beat Donald Trump's inauguration ratings by about 1.5 million viewersBy Mustafa Gatollari
Jan. 22 2021, Updated 10:31 a.m. ET
Heading into the 2016 election, Donald Trump touted his own personal abilities and accomplishments, to the chagrin of many. The 45th President has been lampooned by many who say he's participated in gratuitously "egotistical" self-promotion and "arrogant" personal aggrandizement, which included comparing TV ratings of his reality show The Apprentice when he was at the helm compared to when follow-up host, Arnold Schwarzenegger took over.
Trump also began his Presidency by discussing the immense size of the crowd that attended his inauguration and it was soon revealed that photos of the crowd's size were actually doctored. The former President had claimed 1.5 million people had attended his swearing-in ceremony: the number was closer to 300,000, about a third of what was estimated for when Barack Obama was sworn into the White House in 2009.
Now, it appears that the viewership numbers for Biden's inauguration are in, and it appears that Trump's been "beat" in not only crowd size, but the number of people tuning in from home as well. Donald Trump's Nielsen TV numbers for his 2017 Inauguration clocked in at 38.35 million viewers. Joe Biden's 2021 ceremony saw a 4% uptick in viewership at 39.87 million.
The numbers were evenly divided across six mainstream news outlets: CNN, had 9.9 million people watching at its peak, ABC pulled in 7.66 million, NBC with 6.89, MSNBC with 6.53, CBS with 6.07, and Fox News with 2.74.
The numbers are ultimately subject to change as Nielsen must account for other viewership variables such as counting multiple devices and possible redundancies — sometimes lowering or increasing the numbers as a result of their calculations.
What's interesting are the bipartisan "bias" conclusions that can be drawn from these viewership numbers. For example, Fox's 2.74 million viewers is a precipitous drop from the 2017 inauguration in which the network pulled a staggering 11.76 million watchers. CNN's numbers in 2017, were much lower than that: only 3.35 million people watched.
The political leanings of each network are, many would argue, visibly defined, with CNN drawing a more liberal audience and focusing on talking points that appeal to that demographic with Fox News being focused on a more conservative crowd.
For many who disagreed with Donald Trump's "shallow self-promotion" and proclivity for talking about his own popularity, Joe Biden's higher inauguration viewership was yet another victory over the former President.
Many expressed that they thought Trump would be "hurt" by the news while others relished in the news. Several people also expressed how they outright refused to watch Trump's former inauguration out of sheer principle, but they made sure to tune in for Joe Biden's.
Most knew the victory was a "petty" one, but that they delighted in the news gaining traction because it would upset Donald Trump to learn that his defeat also came with the added bother of facing that his shocking statements did less to garner attention than Joe Biden's political approach. He effectively lost the popularity contest to someone he constantly called "Sleepy."