CNN GOP Town Halls Warmed Up Audience For Tonight’s “Big Apple Brawl”


CNN this week used Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s GOP rivals as warm-up act for tonight’s Dem debate – or “Big Apple Brawl,” as the network optimistically calls it.

Poor John Kasich only mustered 690K viewers and 250K news demo viewers at 9 PM Monday in the first of the GOP candidates-and-families town halls. Kasich got whomped by FNC and MSNBC in the hour in total viewers, and FNC in the demo.  On the bright side, Kasich did a lot better at 10 PM with another town hall, over on FNC  (1.1 million viewers, 322K in the news demo).

Donald Trump, not surprisingly, ran several laps around Kasich the next night for CNN: 2.2M viewers and 579K news-demo viewers. Trump handily won the timeslot, and CNN took primetime in the demo Tuesday night, though FNC hung on to the primetime win in overall crowd.

Last night, Ted Cruz town-halled on CNN and logged 1.3M viewers, 359K news demo viewers. CNN’s Cruz town hall edged out MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in the 9 PM hour. But FNC’s The Kelly File bested Cruz with news about her morning meeting with Donald Trump (2.2M, 419K). Too bad too, because those viewers missed Cruz’s daughter Caroline talking about dressing up Dad in a feather boa and large underwear which maybe she caught on camera.

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