Trump-less GOP debate on Fox News seen by 12.5 million people

Trump did not participate Thursday because of a feud with Fox News Channel and instead held a fundraiser for veterans nearby in Iowa.

By: AP | New York | Updated: January 31, 2016 9:40 am
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at Farmington High School, in Farmington. AP Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at Farmington High School, in Farmington. AP Photo

The seventh Republican presidential debate — and the first one without drawing card Donald Trump — was seen by 12.5 million viewers on Fox News Channel.

Thursday’s debate ranked sixth among the seven GOP debates so far in viewership. Only the debate two weeks ago that was shown on the relatively little-watched Fox Business Network had fewer, with 11.1 million viewers.

Trump did not participate Thursday because of a feud with Fox News Channel and instead held a fundraiser for veterans nearby in Iowa.

The debates have been such a strong draw that even though Thursday’s event had roughly half the viewership of Fox’s first debate, seen by 24 million people in August, it still ranked as the network’s second most-watched event ever. Ratings have generally declined for the debates since that August high.

Fox’s rivals at CNN and MSNBC covered Trump’s fundraiser, where the candidate made a brief speech. CNN was watched by 2 million viewers and MSNBC by 1.1 million during the hour in which Trump talked.

Viewership for the three Democratic debates has ranged between 8.6 million and 15.8 million, and a study released by the Pew Research Center offers some insights into to why the GOP debates are more popular television events.

Pew’s survey found that Republicans are watching the debates in higher percentages than Democrats or independents, and that GOP viewers are less interested in seeing candidates from the other party.

Among people who have watched multiple debates, 41 percent of Republicans said they have only seen GOP debates, while 8 percent of the Democrats said they have only watched the Democrats.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

  1. M
    Mark Miglio
    Jan 31, 2016 at 4:35 am
    I would have expected Fox to get more viewers for its debate, I mean, it was the last debate before the first primary. Instead, Trump's event for veterans' ruled all-media viewership statistics. Why? Well, Trump lovers watched his event on the web. The "coverage" on the MSN and CNN was unacceptable. Trump's one-man, low-cost event had just 48 hours to pull it everything together without the help of any TV ads or a large staff, and yet, it was a very good watch and a very professional presentation. Whilst, Fox had more that two weeks for a mive, all-network, promotional push for the debate, and Fox News, itself, ran its own every-15min-ads and had incessant "discussion" in order to push for ratings. Seems like Trump won the battle, too me. I had to watch the Trump event on the web because both MSN and CNN did their usual all-talk silliness instead of actually covering the Trump event. Their coverage was just a different version of the typical misrepresentation of what they actual do.
    Reply