Monday night’s MSNBC special town hall with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand was unable to generate excitement with the network’s progressive base, placing last among all cable news primetime broadcasts in the key 25-54 demographic while barely avoiding a third-place finish in total viewership in its time slot.
According to Nielsen, the pre-taped special from Michigan totaled 1.243 million viewers and 224,000 in the key demo during All In with Chris Hayes’ 8 PM hour. In comparison, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight drew a robust 3.171 million total viewers and a demo audience of 570,000 and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 averaged 267,000 demo viewers and a total audience of 1.206 million during the same time slot.
Despite being hosted by Chris Hayes, the special event couldn’t come close to the MSNBC host’s standard audience of two million viewers. Compared to last Monday’s All In broadcast, the Gillibrand town hall shed 38 percent of the program’s total viewership and 32 percent in the key demographic.
Perhaps more embarrassing, Gillibrand’s town hall lost hundreds of thousands of viewers from MSNBC’s lead-in. On Monday, the Chris Matthews-hosted Hardball drew 1.733 million total viewers and 272,000 in the 25-54 metric.
Gillibrand’s televised forum wasn’t the only town hall event aired on cable news Monday night. CNN broadcast a live town hall with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at 9 PM, which drew 1.091 million total viewers and 273,000 in the key demo. While Gillibrand beat Warren in total viewership, Warren led CNN in the key demo on Monday and posted almost the exact same numbers Cuomo Prime Time did last Monday in the same time slot.
The anemic TV ratings for Gillibrand could speak to the fact that she hasn’t been able to make an impression with Democratic voters in a crowded 2020 field. In a brand new CNN poll, only one percent of likely Democratic primary voters said the New York senator was their choice for the Democratic nomination.