Donald Trump lost the ratings battle, and he appears to be losing the election war, too.
After the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the second debate between Trump and Joe Biden on October 15 would be held virtually due to the president having recently tested positive for COVID-19, Trump backed out, telling Fox Business that he was “not going to waste my time on a virtual debate.” ABC, now with a hole in its schedule, soon after announced a town hall event with Biden; NBC quickly (and controversially) followed suit with Trump, whose town hall aired at same time as his opponent’s, Thursday night at 8 p.m. EST. Trump, ever obsessed with ratings, wanted to trounce Biden with a higher viewership. His town hall was even on multiple networks.
Let’s see how that went.
Joe Biden’s town hall on ABC averaged 13.9 million viewers on Thursday night, easily surpassing the Nielsen ratings for President Trump’s town hall on NBC. The Trump town hall was simulcast by two of NBC’s cable channels, MSNBC and CNBC, but even when those channels are included in the total, Biden — on only one network — still prevailed.
Trump’s town hall was seen by 10.6 million viewers on NBC, plus an additional 1.74 million on MSNBC and 671,000 on CNBC. That’s 13 million overall, nearly a million fewer than Biden on ABC alone. “Staffers at ABC News privately admitted to their surprise when the preliminary ratings came in on Friday,” according to CNN.
Good work, TikTok teens!
TikTok users watched Biden's town hall on multiple devices to try and beat Trump's ratings https://t.co/Lt9X6Zoert
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 16, 2020
Trump has yet to respond on Twitter, but you know it’s coming.
Well, it turns out that Donald Trump was on more NETWORKS, but Biden still had more VIEWERS. I know how the president is too busy running the country and protecting us from COVID to worry about ratings, so he might have missed the news.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) October 16, 2020
Wow. @JoeBiden's ratings are much bigger than @realDonaldTrump's. More powerful, stronger, larger. Joe trounced Donald, bigly. Such teeny, tiny ratings. Donald. They're going to med-evac Trump's ego to Walter Reed. Sad! https://t.co/YocHa456bA
— Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) October 16, 2020
I suppose you could say “who cares” about the ratings to the Biden and Trump town halls. But we know one person who definitely cares.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 16, 2020
OMG! SIZE MATTERS! @JoeBiden beat @realDonaldTrump in tv ratings for the Town Hall last night according to @brianstelter on @CNN. Biden 13.9 million views and Trump at 10.6 million views. The ratings are on par with political polls Biden beating @realDonaldTrump!
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) October 16, 2020
Biden beating Trump in the town hall ratings race: another data point about "Trump fatigue" ? pic.twitter.com/gewuMwu1ie
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 16, 2020