Here is some bad news for the critics of President Barack Obama who want to claim that Obamamania is over. Part 1 of the NBC News special Inside the Obama White House drew 9.12 million viewers, and was the most viewed program among adults 18-34 and adults 18-49.
The Obama special placed second in its time slot in total viewers behind the CBS show The Mentalist. To give you some context, the number one overall program of the night was a rerun of Law & Order: SVU, which drew over 11 million viewers. The fact that an Obama special can do this well on a summer weeknight demonstrates that Obama is still a big draw for viewers.
What is most interesting is that the people who watched were not who you might think that they would be. It is unusual to think of a political special being the top rated show among the advertiser coveted 18-34 demographic, but young people tuned in to get a look at the Obama White House. The idea that Obama is maintaining his support among young people is bad news for anyone who is seriously considering challenging him in 2012.
It would be tough for any Republican to look at these numbers and explain them away. Obama has been in office for months now, so the newness has worn off. I also think that the novelty of Obama being the nation’s first African American president has faded. What we have here is a very popular president.
It can be argued that part one of the special performed so well because it was new programming in a sea of reruns, but that doesn’t explain why all of the young people were watching.
I think that unless something goes terribly wrong with his presidency, Obama is going to be nearly impossible to defeat in 2012. Obama’s support in 2008 does not look like it was a passing fad among younger voters. His solid base of support, along with the power of incumbency, should add up to a second term for Barack Obama.