Trump Gets Highest Ratings of Convention, Trails Biden
U.S. President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen while speaking during the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg)

Trump Gets Highest Ratings of Convention, Trails Biden

President Donald Trump’s acceptance of his party’s nomination closed the 2020 Republican convention on a TV-viewer high for the GOP in what has been a ratings-challenged year for the campaigns.

An audience of 23.8 million watched the president deliver his remarks on 13 networks, the TV-measurement firm Nielsen said Friday. That was down from 32.2 million who watched Trump four years ago and also trailed the 24.6 million million who tuned in for Joe Biden’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention a week ago.

Trump Gets Highest Ratings of Convention, Trails Biden

The Fox News Channel led the ratings, with an audience of 9.18 million. ABC was No. 2 at 2.58 million. The numbers are based on programming that began at 10 p.m. New York time.

Trump Gets Highest Ratings of Convention, Trails Biden

Trump said in a tweet late Friday that he would have been ahead if online streaming numbers were included, without citing a source for the information.

Convention planners have had to struggle with the coronavirus, which prevented them from hosting the typically teeming crowds inside auditoriums. Traditional TV watching has also fallen in favor of online options and both parties have seen viewer numbers decline from 2016.

Trump sought to infuse more excitement into the event by speaking before a live outdoor audience at the White House, leading to accusations that he allowed White House staff to violate the Hatch Act by using federal property for a political event. The president spoke for more than an hour, the second-longest acceptance speech ever. It’s a record that Trump holds himself: The longest speech was his four years ago.

Trump spoke about his efforts to combat the pandemic, the need for law and order in the wake of social unrest, and his goal to land an American astronaut on Mars. His most pointed critiques were aimed at his rival’s economic policies, casting Biden as a career politician who allowed American manufacturing to wither due to overseas competition.

“The laid-off workers in Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and many other states didn’t want Joe Biden’s hollow words of empathy,” Trump said. “They wanted their jobs back!”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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