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August 30, 2015

Obama's speech shatters Nielsen ratings

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 29th 2008 3:38PM
Obama speech Denver
The reviews from the political talking heads -- right and left -- have been mostly positive. The visuals were spectacular and riveting. History was made at Mile High Stadium in Denver last night when Senator Barack Obama accepted the nomination of the Democratic party as the first African-American presidential candidate. There were 80,000 people packed in the stadium, and now Nielsen has determined that 38 million people tuned in to watch on TV.

How impressive is that number? It's more than the opening ceremonies from the Beijing Olympics. It's also more than the 2008 Oscars and the finale of Fox's American Idol.

The networks cleared just one hour of prime time -- from 10-11 ET -- and the Democratic organizers made sure to present Obama's speech right in that slot, not drifting into the local late news.

While the media promoted and hyped the event, especially since Obama is the first politician to accept a nomination in an outdoor venue since John F. Kennedy appeared at the L.A. Coliseum in 1960, that many people watching a political speech is stunning.

Expectations on all the news outlets were very high, and that clearly spilled over to the public -- as well as the fact that there wasn't a lot of fresh programming up against it. Still, it seems that there was a groundswell of curiosity about Obama, as well as the big build up from the previous three days of the convention -- which included speeches by former President Bill Clinton, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Senator Hillary Clinton, all of whom drew strong ratings, too.

The 38 million people Nielsen is reporting could grow once PBS and CSpan viewership is factored in to the total. It also nearly double the size of the audience that tuned in for Senator John Kerry's acceptance speech in 2004.

It will be interesting to see how well the Republicans fare with their national convention commencing next week. Nielsen numbers are not polling data, but if John McCain's acceptance speech -- scheduled to be delivered from the XCell Arena in St. Paul, Minnesota on Thursday evening -- draws significantly less viewers that Obama's, will that be an indicator of voting preference? I can't say, but I'm curious enough to tune in and hear his speech.

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bCWhat sour grapes conservatives are eating.

It isn't any wonder. Obama blew the doors off the joint, and the only way anyone can stay awake for a speech by McGrandpa is to take no-doz. McCain is the dullest, most uninspiring choice this country could have made since the last choice, which gave us a chimpanzee for eight years. Do they never learn?

He won't get elected. He's a Bush clone. All the Christian conservatives and fat cats flocking to the voting booth won't save him in the face of the youth and minority vote that has been inspired by Obama.

As for Palin? Yikes. The idea of this local politician at best in a sparsely populated state being ready to run the country if anything should happen to McAncient (and, at his age, that's a real possibility) is a joke. McCain knucked under to the religious right. She was nowhere near his first or second choice, but his handlers knew he needed somethng other than the spectacle of the cobwebs covering him and Lieberman. This was a Hail Mary choice, and its going to backfire. Badly.

Oh, and the idea that this ticket will pull in disaffected Hilary voters, the only voters more liberal than Obama voters, who will ignore Palin's hard line conservative records and vote for her simply because she's a woman?

LOLOLOL!!! Good luck with that.


September 01 2008 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

More often than not I see conservatives complaining that he just can't do anything that he promises. It must suck to live in a world where you think NOTHING ever gets done. I'm not a fan of President Bush , but I work in a school. And that " No Child Left Behind " crap is actually in a effect.

If our kids don't get a certain score on a lame test ( I've read them , they're lame) the school doesn't get funded. So as much as I dislike that guy, he talked about the NCLB Initiative and its being done. Stop being so pessimistic and relax.

August 30 2008 at 4:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chadwick hansford

Funny! It cracks me up to see someone so passionate about a
candidate who says he will bring change but have no idea what that
change is. The stupidity is mind blowing.

August 29 2008 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to chadwick hansford's comment

Here's 3 amendments Obama sponsored in the 110th Congress:

S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged. Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 1/11/2007) Cosponsors (1) Latest Major Action: 1/18/2007 Senate amendment agreed to. Status: Amendment SA 41 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.

S.AMDT.524 to S.CON.RES.21 To provide $100 million for the Summer Term Education Program supporting summer learning opportunities for low-income students in the early grades to lessen summer learning losses that contribute to the achievement gaps separating low-income students from their middle-class peers. Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 3/21/2007) Cosponsors (None) Latest Major Action: 3/23/2007 Senate amendment agreed to. Status: Amendment SA 524 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.

S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy. Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 3/22/2007) Cosponsors (4) Latest Major Action: 3/23/2007 Senate amendment agreed to. Status: Amendment SA 599 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.

Next time do your own homework.

August 29 2008 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@Andrew: Conservatives have never been big internet posters, but this year they feel the need to post a lot more. There was a story done on it a few months ago, about them being pushed to post on blogs more.

It usually goes: Liberals = Internet and Conservatives = Radio and Fox News.

August 29 2008 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Victor's comment

Those damn conservatives, always wanting to be fairly represented. How dare they! GET OFF OUR INTERWEBS.

August 29 2008 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chadwick hansford


You just proved my point. You can't name three. Wow this is too easy.

August 29 2008 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chadwick hansford's comment

I proved what? You didn't ask anybody to name 3 things, you just declared your ignorance. Do you not know that Senators have their own sites? I could copy/paste 3 things. You proved that you were an idiot, who didn't even care about looking up 3 things that he did in the Senate. Thanks for proving my point and that you can't even use Google.

August 29 2008 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Josh Feinauer

am I wrong in saying that of course raitings are higher on a show that is on every local channel. If there is only one thing to watch America will watch it. Cannot compare with olympics and oscars etc. It's a good turn out but I am sure if it was only on one channel it would not have made the numbers it did.

August 29 2008 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Josh Feinauer's comment

Thats right. The Olympics were only on NBC, MSNBC, Universal HD, CNBC, USA, and Bravo.

August 29 2008 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree Andrew. Totally surprised! BTW, loved your comment.

August 29 2008 at 4:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marianne's comment

So McCain's speech will have the same ratings? What about the past 3 days before his speech, that didn't score those ratings? Could it be that people just watched something else on cable, or went on the net? The man made history last night, so the ratings were going to be huge. And not to mention that is was on the anniversary of the MLK "I Have A Dream" speech.

August 29 2008 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had no idea people who watch TV (or the people who comment on this blog) were so conservative.

August 29 2008 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to Andrew's comment

And Obama got almost 12 hours of fawning coverage before the media turned its attention to a more captivating story.

August 29 2008 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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