The ratings are for CNN Trump’s town hall, and the special only drew audiences for an average Tucker Carlson show.
Here are the notes:
In the key 25-54 demo, the town hall averaged 703,000, about five times more than CNN’s typical 8 p.m. performance.
—Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2023
CNN expected a ratings bonanza after E. Jean Carroll, but instead Trump drew fewer viewers than the last CNN town hall he did in March 2016 (3.2 million)and it was almost eight times fewer viewers than the 2015 Republican primary debate organized by CNN (23 million).
Trump is not a huge audience draw. CNN could have gone out and hired Tucker Carlson and pulled the same numbers or better than they got with Trump.
Before the town hall, Trump was fashionable and promised record ratings. It almost didn’t happen.
CNN may have beaten Fox and MSNBC with Trump’s town hall, but how many of those viewers tuned in to see his comments about E. Jean Carroll? It will be interesting to see if CNN and Trump maintained those viewership numbers for the entire hour, or if they peaked early and then faded.
CNN has been mired in third place for what seems like an eternity in cable ratings, so executives like Chris Licht defending the town hall, are probably delighted with the number of viewers.
The fact that Trump failed to attract an audience means that the ratings magic is long gone. Trump’s weariness is real, and if CNN’s mayoralty was a high point for his return to mainstream media, it’s a bad sign for Republican hopes of winning back the White House in 2024.
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Jason is the editor. He is also a member of the White House press pool and a congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in political science. His graduate studies focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association