Friday, July 29, 2016

Democratic Convention Trounces Republican Convention In TV Ratings By 8 Million Viewers


Folks were looking today to see if Hillary Clinton would win or lose to Donald Trump in the TV ratings race - something we know is near and dear to the Donald's heart.

So here's how the numbers break down:

The closing night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention drew numbers which closely tracked the final night of the Republican National Convention.

According to Variety, the Democrats scored 31.72 million viewers vs. the Repubs with 31.95 million viewers - a difference of about 230,000. This accounts for tracking across 6 networks - ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

From Variety:

Even if you add in ratings from PBS to both the final nights of the DNC and RNC, the DNC still comes up slightly short (31.72 million vs. 31.95 million). The big difference-maker is, unsurprisingly, the audience for Fox News. For the Trump anointing, 9.35 million people tuned in. Less than a third of that number turned on Fox News for Clinton’s crowning.

CNN once again won the DNC coverage ratings race, with 7.5 million total viewers and 2.81 million in the cable-news-coveted 25-54 demographic. MSNBC weighed in with 5.72 million total and 1.53 million in the demo. Fox News had 3.03 million total and 785,000 in the demo.

As Variety notes, the bulk of the differential comes from the drop in viewership at Fox News last night, from 9 million the week before to last night's 3 million.

Comparing the four nights of convention coverage, the Democrats came out the clear winner with 106.19 million total viewers over their full convention compared to the Republicans 98.12 million total viewers - a difference of 8.07 million more in the Democrats column.  

All data from Variety via multiple posts:
24.7 + 24.03 + 25.74 + 31.74 = 106.19 million for Democrats
19.75 + 23.40 + 23.02 + 31.95 = 98.12 million for Republicans

However, I think to get to a clearer picture of which convention attracted a larger audience, you need to look at some additional metrics.

Neither C-SPAN nor Spanish language network Univision are factored into these numbers. As political junkies know, Hillary has held a huge lead over Trump when it comes to Hispanic voters. So, with a difference of only 230K, it's easy to imagine that difference being overcome by even just one or two million Latino viewers.

Plus, Nielsen doesn't track any online content where we know the younger voters are. When Variety looked at streaming content, the numbers lean decidedly the Dems way.

For the Democratic confab, ABC News notched more than 16.6 million video views across 44 Facebook Live streams, while for the Republican National Convention it tallied more than 11.6 million views for 52 individual Facebook Live streams.

YouTube, which was the official live-streaming partner for the RNC and DNC, said the conventions were viewed live on on the platform about 9.1 million times, with viewers tuning in for 25 minutes on average. The peak concurrent live audience across both conventions was 250,000 viewers during Hillary Clinton’s speech Thursday evening, followed by Donald Trump’s July 21 speech at the RNC with 217,000.

Finally, you'll recall that Donald Trump had sent out a request to his supporters to boycott the last night of the Democratic Convention so that his numbers might be higher than Hillary's.

That doesn't represent hard numbers, but it does explain some shift in audience to a small degree.

But don't tell The Donald. He's a little thin-skinned about these things, you know.

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