About 21.6 million viewers watched coverage of Trump’s RNC address on nine cable and broadcast networks, compared to 23.6 million viewers who watched Biden’s DNC address on the same nine networks.
Totals may fluctuate slightly when final numbers are released later today, but Biden has clearly edged ahead of Trump.
The Democratic convention was also rated higher than the Republican convention as a whole when the four-day audience is counted.
Biden’s campaign celebrated the odds victory overnight – and kissed
it’s a potential way to get under Trump’s skin.
The obsession with the President’s ratings is well documented. He tweeted hundreds of times about the reviews, often inaccurately. He brought up the subject as recently as Friday morning, when he tweeted
, “Excellent grades and reviews last night. Thank you!”
He did not share an immediate reaction when the first audience figures showed him behind Biden.
Nielsen’s datasets count the number of traditional viewers across America, but largely leave out streaming and other forms of digital engagement, so the picture is incomplete.
And it’s impossible to know how many people watched just Trump, just Biden, or both speeches.
Ratings are therefore not a proxy for voter behavior – but they are notable for other reasons.
The average audience for the two 2020 conventions plummeted from 2016, when Trump accepted the GOP nomination and Hillary Clinton ran against him.
That year, Clinton’s speech averaged 29.8 million viewers, and Trump’s speech averaged 32.2 million viewers. (The 2016 totals cannot be exactly compared to the day-to-day odds for that year, but they are directionally accurate.)
Biden campaign capitalized on Friday hearings victory: TJ Ducklo, national press secretary for the Biden campaign, tweeted
to Biden’s director of rapid response, Andrew Bates, and asked, tongue very firmly in his cheek, “I always forget, does @realDonaldTrump care about his TV ratings? Or is it not something that interests him? For example, do you think it will trigger it. @ JoeBiden’s speech got much higher marks than his? “
even more sarcastically: “You mean the self-proclaimed ‘Rating Machine DJT’, who bet the farm on it and broke the law to exploit the White House as a prop * while * claiming he’s not responsible as the pandemic turns control and violence and division erupt? No, I think he will be totally optimistic. “