Donald Trump may be slipping in the polls — one poll has him trailing GOP presidential rival Ben Carson, 28% to 20%, among likely GOP caucus-goers in Iowa. But Trump continues to be ratings gold with his TV appearances.
Deadline.com reports that Trump’s recent appearance on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” delivered the show’s most-watched telecast in more than six years. The show pulled 1.618 million total viewers, and 471,000 in the key news demo of viewers 25-54. The show surged 23% in total viewers over its same day last year.
As for that Iowa poll, reported by Fox News, Carson reportedly bumped Trump out of the No. 1 spot in the state for the first time since early August in the Fox News poll.
“Both political outsiders have been dominating the polls since the summer, both nationally and in key states,” Fox News reports. “But Carson had been trailing Trump in Iowa until now.”
Trump’s sit-down interview on “Fox News Sunday” marked his first appearance on the show since he announced his presidential bid back in June. It was the only Sunday Beltway show on which he had not yet appeared, Deadline notes.
“Finally appearing, Trump defended his threat to boycott CNBC’s GOP debate unless it was held to two hours in length, because, he said, CNN’s three-hour GOP debate was too long and ‘people were turning off — who’s going to watch a debate that long?'” Deadline reports. “But Trump also boasted that CNN’s GOP debate had logged record ratings (23M), as had Fox News Channel’s GOP debate (24M), simpering, ‘Do you have any idea why?’”
Wallace, who was one of the moderators on the Fox debate, responded: “I think maybe it was because of the moderators.” The aftermath of the debate was marked by hostility between Trump and moderator Megyn Kelly, with Trump also holding a lesser grudge against Wallace. At one point Trump called Wallace “only a tiny fraction” of his father, CBS News legend Mike Wallace, Deadline notes.
“By last Sunday, however, Trump had mellowed,” Deadline reports, “and answered, ‘I think so … great moderators,’ to Wallace’s lead, and the two men had a good laugh.”