Mitt Romney’s convention speech was watched by 25 million Americans, which is 13 million fewer viewers than watched John McCain accept the Republican nomination in 2008.
Mitt Romney’s inability to captivate the nation resulted in a gain of only 5 million viewers from the second night to the third night of the Republican convention. The Romney campaign was counting on widespread viewership, outside of the GOP, but 39% of their audience came from Fox News. Fox was the top network with over 9 million viewers, followed by ABC (4.44 million), NBC (3.85 million), CBS (3.73 million), CNN (2.33 million), and MSNBC (1.88 million). In contrast, over 38 million Americans watched John McCain’s speech in 2008.
Every network lost viewers compared to 2008. According to TVNewser, “Fox News was just about flat compared to 2008, losing around -2% of its viewership, while NBC (-56%), ABC (-26%), CBS (-30%), CNN (-52%)and MSNBC (-25%) were down mid double digits.” These are the consequences of having a nominee who has no positive message of his own.
To draw 13 million fewer viewers than McCain, and tens of millions fewer viewers than Sarah Palin is an embarrassment. If America is really as upset at Obama as Republicans claim they are, then why aren’t they lining up behind Mitt Romney? You would think that if the country was itching to make a chance it would be reflected in the ratings for Romney’s acceptance speech.
John McCain was no ball of charisma, but he was able to get people to tune in to his speech. This election lack the enthusiasm of 2008, but there is no proof anywhere that the American people are ready to elect Mitt Romney. The pundit class is chattering about how Romney was a able to soften his image, but it doesn’t matter if the American people didn’t tune in to watch. It looks like Americans have made their minds up on Mitt Romney, and they aren’t interested.
2012 isn’t 2008 and nobody should be surprised if the Democrats have lower ratings this time around too, but Obama is the incumbent. He is leading. Mitt Romney needed a moment where he grabbed the nation’s attention and looked like a credible replacement for Obama.
Instead, he looked more like a pretender than a contender. No matter how hard Republicans try to sell it, it is obvious that voters are never going to fall in love with Mitt Romney, and the ratings show that those cries that Obama has to go aren’t resonating much outside of Republican circles.