Beto’s CNN Town Hall Tanks in Ratings, Places Last in Primetime Demo and Total Viewers

Beto’s CNN Town Hall Tanks in Ratings, Places Last in Primetime Demo and Total Viewers

In the middle of a reboot of his floundering campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s Tuesday night town hall on CNN failed to draw much interest, finishing far behind the cable news competition during its time slot while placing last in primetime.

According to Nielsen, the Des Moines town hall forum — which aired at 10 PM — delivered just 719,000 total viewers and 196,000 in the key 25-54 demographic. In comparison, MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell drew 2.274 million viewers overall and 328,000 in the demo. Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle led across the board for the hour, nabbing 378,000 demo viewers and a total audience of 2.393 million.

While CNN typically finishes behind Fox and MSNBC during primetime, O’Rourke’s town hall pales in comparison to recent ones other candidates have taken part in on the network. For instance, last month, CNN ran five consecutive town halls on the same night, and each one of the events drew a larger audience than the former Texas congressman’s, including Minessota Senator Amy Klobuchar’s, which aired at 7 PM, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 11 PM forum.

The O’Rourke special took last place during the 8-11 PM primetime in both the demo and total viewership and drew fewer viewers overall than CNN’s 7 PM program Erin Burnett OutFront.

For the day, the top-rated show in cable news was Fox News’ Hannity, which led in both the key demo (522,000) and total viewership (3.004 million). Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight took second place in total audience (2.693 million) and the demographic (463,000) while MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show finished third in both metrics, drawing 2.626 million viewers overall and 405,000 in the 25-54 demo.

The most-watched program on CNN was Anderson Cooper 360, which drew 896,000 total viewers and 203,000 in the demo.

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.