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From Nixon To Bush 43 Presidential Inauguration Ratings
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From Nixon To Bush 43 Presidential Inauguration Ratings

On Tuesday, January 20th, Americans will witness history with the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.  How will this event compare with other inaugurations over the past 40 years?  Nielsen has compiled data about inaugural viewership since 1969.

Key findings are:

  • Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration drew the most viewers – almost 42 million.

  • First time inaugurations of two-term presidents drew higher ratings than their second (exception: Nixon in 1973).

  • The least watched inauguration since 1969: George W. Bush in 2005, with 15.5 million.

Click this link for complete inauguration ratings 1969-2005

PRESIDENT DATE Viewers P2+
G.W.Bush 1/20/2005 15,536,652
G.W.Bush 1/20/2001 29,008,200
Clinton 1/20/1997 21,583,000
Clinton 1/20/1993 29,721,041
G.H.Bush 1/20/1989 23,316,325
Reagan 1/20/1985 25,053,886
Reagan 1/20/1981 41,800,260
Carter 1/20/1977 34,127,090
Nixon 1/20/1973 32,950,900
Nixon 1/20/1969 27,007,700
Source: © 2009 The Nielsen Company