Report: Fox News dominates debate coverage as nearly 15M tune in to last Trump-Biden face-off

The Washington Examiner reported Friday that Fox News came in at No. 1 in the ratings among channels that televised President Donald Trump’s second and final debate against Democrat White House hopeful Joe Biden.

Citing preliminary ratings from Nielsen, the Examiner revealed that Fox News dominated its rivals, with almost 15 million people tuning in to the conservative-leaning network to watch the Trump–Biden face-off.

According to the Examiner, ABC and NBC came in second, both managing to bring in a little over 10 million viewers.

Trailing far behind were outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and CBS, all of whom saw about 5 million viewers during Thursday night’s match-up, the Examiner reported.

Fox comes out on top

Of course, it’s hardly surprising that Fox News came out on top Thursday night. The network previously dominated coverage of the first debate between Biden and Trump, which was held Sept. 29.

It did come as something of a shock, however, to see that overall viewership of Thursday night’s debate had declined from the last Trump–Biden match-up. According to the Washington Examiner, more than 70 million watched the last debate, 62 million of whom tuned in to one of the major news networks.

By contrast, Thursday night’s face-off was watched by just over 55 million viewers, though that number may still rise as ratings continue to be counted, the Examiner notes.

For what it’s worth, the final presidential debate saw significantly higher viewership than either of the two town halls held by the White House candidates the week prior. Broadcast at the same time, the Oct. 15 events saw pulled in more than 27 million viewers combined, with Biden drawing in 14.1 million voters on ABC, according to The Hill, and Trump bringing in 13.5 million on NBC.

A look to the future

In its own report on the recent broadcasts, Fox News suggested that the decline in viewership may have had something to do with the fact that so many Americans have either already made up their mind or already voted. “The U.S. has already recorded over 38 percent of the total ballots returned during the 2016 race, with the election still 11 days out,” Fox reported Saturday.

The network also noted that viewership of Thursday’s debate fell far short of the final debate between President Trump and then-Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The last Trump–Clinton match-up saw 71.6 million viewers, Fox reported, “an increase from the previous presidential debate between President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s 67 million.”

It remains to be seen whether the drop in viewership is reflective of a wider trend among the electorate. For now, Biden is leading in the polls by nearly 8%, according to Fox, though he is wavering in some key swing states.

Still, with just over a week left to go until Election Day — and new bombshells seeming to come to light every hour — it’s still anybody’s race at this point.

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