Thirty-eight percent of Americans interviewed Monday night said they watched or listened to the inauguration ceremonies as they happened; another 27% saw, read, or heard news coverage of the events. That is down considerably from 2009, when a combined 80% watched the ceremonies live (60%) or saw news coverage of them (20%). Reported viewership of Monday's ceremonies is similar to what Gallup measured for George W. Bush's second inauguration eight years ago.
Sixty-five percent rated it excellent or good, compared with 81 percent for the 2009 inaugural
Given the lower levels of attention paid to the second inauguration by Americans, and their less positive reaction to Obama's speech, it is not surprising that fewer Americans said the inauguration made them more hopeful about the next four years than did so in 2009. Specifically, 37% of Americans said they are now more hopeful about the next four years after Monday's presidential inauguration ceremonies, compared with 62% after Obama's first inauguration. Reaction to Monday's inauguration was similar to Bush's second inauguration in 2005.
Gallup also reports:
U.S. President Barack Obama begins his second term at a time when Americans are as negative about the state of the country and its prospects going forward as they have been in more than three decades. Fewer than four in 10 Americans (39%) rate the current status of the U.S. at the positive end of a zero to 10 scale. This is about the same as in 2010, but it is fewer than have said so at any point since 1979. As they usually are, Americans are more upbeat in their predictions of where the U.S. will be in five years (48% positive), but this is also lower than at any time since 1979. Fifty-five percent of Americans say the state of the nation five years ago was positive. [emphasis added]