Beto O’Rourke’s Tuesday night town hall with CNN’s Dana Bash failed to attract the hoped-for crowd. The 10-11:15 PM broadcast attracted only an average of 714,000 viewers. That includes 194K in the news demo, aka viewers 25-54.
In the same block of time, Fox News Channel clocked 2.260M viewers and MSNBC logged 2.196M.
News-demo-wise, FNC averaged 362K 25-54 year olds, with MSNBC not too far behind at 315K.
O’Rourke’s numbers fell 29% shy of CNN’s 2019 average in the Tuesday night block of time, and 38% short in the news demo.
Despite his suit and tie, livestreamed haircut, and his cogent answers to policy questions from Bash and the Drake University audience, O’Rourke’s stab at a White House race reboot missed the mark. For context: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper attracted a bigger crowd when he town-halled on CNN (745K) on a Wednesday back in March.
Meanwhile, last Sunday’s FNC town hall with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has stolen media spotlight from O’Rourke in recent weeks, delivered 1.1 million viewers. O’Rourke did edge out Buttigieg’s 172K in the news demo.
But O’Rourke came nowhere close to the 708K 25-54 year olds who had watched Kamala Harris’ CNN town hall in January. That remains the town hall demo record holder this election cycle.
FNC’s April town hall with Bernie Sanders is the one to beat in total viewers, with its best-yet 2.55M viewers.