Democrats Win Ratings Contest With Millions More Viewers Than Republicans

Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Democratic National Convention

Joe and Jill Biden at Democratic National Convention

Screenshot from 20 August 2020 DNC @ CSPAN via Elvert Barnes/ Flickr

The 2020 nominating conventions for both major political parties are now in the books, and more viewers tuned in to watch Joe Biden and the Democratic Party's messaging than they did for Donald Trump and the GOP, according to Nielsen ratings.

The Democratic National Convention beat viewership of the Republican National Convention on each of the four nights, according to Nielsen data reported by Michael Mulvihill, the executive vice president of Fox Sports.

On Night 1, Democrats got 14.6 million viewers compared to the GOP's 11.6.

Night 2 saw Democrats get 14.5 million viewers to Republicans' 12.4.

Night 3 — when Kamala Harris accepted the vice presidential nomination — saw Democrats get 16.2 million viewers compared to the GOP's 10.5 million.

And Night 4, when both Trump and Biden accepted their respective party's nominations, saw Democrats get 17.5 million viewers compared to the 14.1 million for Republicans.

According to TV Line, which reports on television news, "the 2020 Republican National Convention's grand finale did not appear to enjoy any major Trump bump."

The data belies Trump's claim Friday morning that his speech got "Great Ratings & Reviews."

Trump, for his part, is obsessed with television ratings.

The former host of The Apprentice has tweeted about television ratings numerous times throughout the years, both for his own appearances on television, as well as for his favorite Fox News shows that he watches and then tweets about.

He often tweets about television ratings in an effort to smear news outlets he doesn't like.

On Aug. 13, Trump tweeted: "Very poor morning TV ratings for MSDNC's Morning Joe, headed by a complete Psycho named Joe Scarborough and his ditzy airhead wife, Mika, and also @CNN, headed by complete unknowns. Congratulations to @foxandfriends on dominating the mornings (thank you President Trump!)."

He's taken credit for the ratings of Fox News' Tucker Carlson' program — a television show which spouts literal white supremacism.

His love of ratings even once led him to make the crass comment in 2017 that an appearance he made on CBS News gave the network its best ratings "since the World Trade Center came down."

Ultimately, it's unclear what effect the lower viewership for the GOP convention will have.

But Trump needs a polling bump after this week's programming.

Trump is currently trailing Biden in national polls by 9.1 percent, as well as in enough state level polls that if the election were held today, Biden would score an Electoral College victory, according to FiveThirtyEight.

"Whether you believe in convention bounces or not, President Donald Trump and the Republicans need one to salvage the elections this fall," Nathan Gonzales, a nonpartisan political handicapper with Inside Elections and columnist with Roll Call, wrote in an analysis piece.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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