By Scott Collins
12:15 PM PST, January 23, 2013
President Obama outlined a bold vision for his second term, but things got off to a slow start when it came to TV ratings.
Viewing for Obama’s second inauguration on Monday tumbled 46% compared with his first swearing-in back in 2009, according to Nielsen. This time, 20.6 million tuned in. (Nielsen counted viewing on 18 networks, including the big broadcasters and the Spanish-language networks.)
However, ratings for second inaugurals almost always dip compared with their predecessors. George W. Bush drew 29 million for his first inauguration in 2001, but only a bit more than half that the second time around.
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The lone exception? Richard Nixon. In 1969, 27 million watched his swearing-in. Four years later, following a landslide reelection, he drew nearly 33 million.
The most-watched inauguration of the last 45 years was Ronald Reagan’s in 1981, when 41.8 million tuned in.
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