AP, TVWeek

Without Trump Ratings for GOP Candidates Debate on Fox Ranks Second Lowest of the Seven GOP Debates

Jan 29, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Updated at 5:58 p.m. PT on Jan. 29,  2016 to change headline and lede to better reflect what the story says.

Without Donald Trump, Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate only “ranked sixth among the seven GOP debates so far in viewership,” reports the Associated Press.

The AP story notes that the seventh GOP presidential debate, which Trump boycotted, drew 12.5 million viewers to Fox News Channel. Trump’s alternative event, a fund-raising rally for veterans, was not carried in full on television, but both CNN and MSNBC paid it some attention. During the hour in which Trump made his appearance, CNN averaged 2 million viewers and MSNBC had 1.1 million.

Said the AP, “Only the debate two weeks ago that was shown on the relatively little-watched Fox Business Network had fewer, with 11.1 million viewers.”

Even with about half the viewership of FNC’s blockbuster debate back in August, which pulled an audience of 24 million, Thursday’s debate was the channel’s second most-watched event ever.

fox news channel-logo


  1. Well I guess people have been tuning to these debates because this upcoming election is pretty important…and not because a reality TV show/businessman was involved.

  2. This was a huge loss for Fox Opinion Network. First, the elephant was not in the room. Second, the arrogance of Fox “news” to tweet about Trump-Putin was not a class move by a legitimate journalistic news operation. Rather it reflected the entertainment edge of it’s head, Roger Ailes, who used to be the executive producer of the Mike Douglas Talk Show.

    Finally, for this organization to promote that it’s “fair and balanced” is like Nixon saying, “I’m not a crook.” Please Mr. Ailes, your past is showing.

  3. Second lowest debate is a triumph? Hardly, even if it outdrew the typically dismal (yet better than CNN) audience for primetime news. Trust me, Fix is NOT happy with what might have been the biggest debate of the seven so far, instead of a paltry sixth-place.

    • Fox, not Fix

  4. I guess it is all in your perspective who won. The Thursday GOP debate second highest rated show in FOX News history!! Where is an article or mention of how many viewers were watching CNN or MSNBC’s coverage of the Trump event at the same time (9est – 11est) of the Fox debate???

  5. I would have expected Fox to get more viewers for its debate, I mean, it was the last debate before the first primary. Instead, Trump’s event for veterans’ ruled all-media viewership statistics. Why? Well, Trump lovers watched his event on the web. The “coverage” on the MSN and CNN was unacceptable.

    Trump’s one-man, low-cost event had just 48 hours to pull it everything together without the help of any TV ads or a large staff, and yet, it was a very good watch and a very professional presentation.

    Whilst, Fox had more that two weeks for a massive, all-network, promotional push for the debate, and Fox News, itself, ran its own every-15min-ads and had incessant “discussion” in order to push for ratings. Seems like Trump won the battle, too me.

    I had to watch the Trump event on the web because both MSN and CNN did their usual all-talk silliness instead of actually covering the Trump event. Their coverage was just a different version of the typical misrepresentation of what they actual do.

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