Joe Biden drew nearly two million more viewers than Donald Trump for their head to head town halls carried on ABC and NBC.
Joe Biden outdrew President Donald Trump in the broadcast-only ratings for their competing town-hall events Thursday, but the incumbent might well pull ahead when cable ratings come in later Friday.
The Democratic challenger attracted 12.2 million viewers on ABC, according to early Nielsen data. Trump drew 10.4 million viewers on NBC. The numbers will be subject to adjustments later Friday that could dramatically increase NBC’s total, including the addition of audiences from cable channels operated by parent Comcast Corp.
Biden and Trump were not competing head to head on cable, so the broadcast numbers are the only accurate apples to apples comparison of how the candidates fared.
If one believes that viewership of candidate events is a circumstantial signal of how an election is tilting, the news that Biden got more viewers than Trump could be seen as a good omen for Democratic election chances in roughly two and a half weeks.
The ratings do show that Trump fatigue is real. Donald Trump’s impact as a ratings draw in 2016 was overstated, mainly by Trump himself, and after four years of his relentless need for constant attention, many Americans are tired of him.
Nothing that Trump has been doing is working in the 2020 campaign, and that includes the disaster of a town hall on NBC.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association