Fox News Tops Off-Year Election Night Viewership

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin greets supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Fox News topped cable network coverage of Tuesday’s off-year election results from Virginia and New Jersey, drawing an average of 4.65 million viewers during primetime.

MSNBC drew 1.49 million viewers during the 8-11 p.m. ET time frame, while CNN averaged 1.04 million. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 936,000, followed by CNN with 335,000 and MSNBC at 262,000.

The Nielsen figures were released by Fox News.

The Fox News audience peaked in the 10 p.m. hour, with almost 5 million viewers for The Ingraham Angle. MSNBC averaged 1.35 million during that time frame, and CNN posted 1.19 million.

A Fox News spokesperson said that the network had a 65% share in primetime total viewers and 62% share in the 25-54 demo. It’s also an improvement over the network’s audience in 2017, when it averaged 3.14 million viewers.

The broadcast networks provided ongoing coverage of the results on their streaming platforms, ABC News Live, CBSN and NBC News Now.

Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe in the closely watched race in Virginia. In the aftermath of Youngkin’s victory — the first for a Republican in a statewide race in Virginia since 2009 — there has been a flood of takes on where Democrats went wrong in losing the statehouse.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, won re-election in an unexpectedly close contest against Jack Ciattarelli, a former assemblyman.

The Virginia race was called in the 12 AM ET hour, with Fox News averaging 2.75 million viewers, compared to 846,000 for MSNBC and 716,000 for CNN. But it was clear that Youngkin was on his way to victory in the hours before then.

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