What Time Does the Democrats’ State of the Union Response Begin?

Getty Gretchen Whitmer

Tonight, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is giving the Democrats’ official response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. Whitmer’s speech — the Democrats’ official SOTU response — will begin shortly after Trump’s speech ends.

Expect Whitmer’s Speech To Begin Shortly After 10-10:30 PM Eastern

Most State of the Union speeches last about an hour, although some last closer to 90 minutes. Trump’s speeches tend to be on the longer side. Trump’s speech will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight. Because his last two speeches were longer than 80 minutes, it’s possible that his speech won’t end until around 10:20 p.m. or later. Prior to Trump, SOTU speeches often ended closer to 10 p.m.

This means Whitmer’s speech will likely begin sometime between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Eastern. If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, then tune in no later than 10 p.m. Eastern, but be prepared to wait until 10:30 p.m. or even later for the response to start.

You should be able to watch the Democrats’ response on any major cable network. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, PBS, and C-SPAN are all going to air not just Trump’s speech, but the Democrats’ response too. The response will also be live streamed, which you can watch in the video below.

2020 State of the Union Address & Democratic ResponsePresident Trump delivers 2020 State of the Union Address before a Joint Session of Congress. The Democratic Response from Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) will follow shortly thereafter.2020-01-22T21:06:46.000Z

Many Democrats are excited about Whitmer because she won a Midwestern state when she ran for Governor. That’s a key state in a region that many Democrats are hoping to capture in the 2020 general election.

Whitmer will speak from East Lansing High school, which is the school where her children are enrolled. Whitmer was elected governor in 2018. Whitmer’s will be the only official speech from the Democratic party, but others may also deliver speeches of their own, like Bernie Sanders who will be delivering one at 10:30 p.m. Eastern.

Whitmer was elected as Michigan’s governor just 13 months ago, The New York Times reported. She’s relatively new on the political scene. Democrats often choose someone to deliver the response who is less in the spotlight, and they rarely choose a candidate who is currently running for President. Whitmer, 48, is more traditional in her beliefs and quite different from Trump. She supports gun control, abortion rights, but also advocates for bipartisan work. She was the first governor to ban flavored vaping products through an executive action, so she’s also viewed as controversial by some. Vox reported that Whitmer won the election with a popular slogan: “Fix the damn roads.” Her winning a Midwest state makes her a popular choice for Democrats, who are hoping to make more inroads in those states for the 2020 general election.


Many have expressed excitement on Twitter about her speech. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote: “Though her tireless work on behalf of Michigan families, @gretchenwhitmer has embodied the best of our party and the best of our American values. She’s one to watch, and I’m so thrilled that the country will get to know her as she delivers the response to tonight’s #SOTU.”

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