The third Republican presidential primary debate saw viewership decline even though it was on broadcast television, which would suggest low interest in the non-Trump candidates and GOP primary.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on the debate ratings:
The Republican debate aired on NBC (but not cable siblings MSNBC or CNBC) and drew 7.5 million viewers on the network, Peacock and other streaming and digital platforms. That’s down from 9.5 million for the second debate on Fox News, Fox Business, and Univision on Sept. 27. NBC did slightly outdraw the total for just Fox News (6.86 million viewers to 6.69 million) from the last debate; streaming and digital platforms accounted for the remaining 640,000 viewers.
The September event, in turn, fell off from 13 million viewers for the first debate of the cycle, also on Fox News and Fox Business. An hour of analysis after the debate averaged 3.2 million viewers.
As I wrote in October, there is growing evidence that Trump has killed Republican voter enthusiasm in the early presidential primary states.
Republicans don’t seem to be very excited about the election, and the lack of enthusiasm relates a great deal to a party frontrunner who has been spending more time obsessing about his criminal charges than he spends on the campaign trail interacting with voters.
Trump fatigue is a very real issue within the Republican Party. 2024 will be the third consecutive election where Donald Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
Republicans will still vote for Trump, but their lack of enthusiasm could become a major problem for the GOP in 2024.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
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Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association