(RepublicanNews.org) – The fourth Republican presidential primary debate saw a major drop in viewership compared to its predecessors.
Hosted by NewsNation on Wednesday, December 6th, the debate garnered only 1.6 million viewers on television. Combined with its sister network CW, the Republican Party debate amassed a total of 4.1 million, according to Neilsen.
The extra 2.5 million viewers were insufficient to prevent the latest debate from holding the lowest rating of any network in this electoral cycle. By contrast, the first debate in Milwaukee, broadcast by Fox, attracted 12.8 million viewers, marking a total fall of 68%. Although November’s NBC-hosted debate did not see the figures achieved by Fox, it still managed a respectable 7.5 million according to Neilsen.
Former president Donald Trump has skipped all four debates so far, including the Fox Business broadcast towards the end of September. After prioritizing a pre-recorded interview with Tucker Carlson on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Trump has opted for campaign events often occurring simultaneously with the televised debates.
The former president still leads the Republican primary race with the first caucus in Iowa scheduled for next month. Since the previous debate, his support has climbed above 60% – almost 50 percentage points ahead of second-placed and one-time nearest rival Ron DeSantis. Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley is close behind at 11.3%, with businessman Vivek Ramaswamy tailing the field with just under 5% support.
Trump’s all-but-certain party nomination next year is perhaps playing a role in declining viewership, although it’s worth noting that the liberal NewsNation channel, formerly WGN America, averages around 60,000 viewers a day. A drop of 35% compared to 2022 marks the network as America’s lowest-rated cable news channel.
A further three debates are penned in for January 2024. CNN is scheduled to host two debates on January 10th and January 21st, while ABC News and WMUR-TV will host a debate on January 18th – the first following the Iowa Caucus three days earlier.
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