So, how did Donald Trump\’s snit -a-thon make out in the ratings?
Donald Trump may have been conspicuously absent, butThursday night\’s Republican debate on Fox News Channel nevertheless scored a8.4 rating and 12.5 million viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen.That\’s higher than the returns for the last Republican debate, Jan. 14 onsister net Fox Business Network, and marks the No. 2 telecast in FNC history.
Meanwhile, all the other cable news networks werecovering Trump\’s competing event in Iowa, during which Trump boasted heraised $5 million for veteran\’s charities. Those other cable news networks,neither of which blanketed the time period with the event, averaged arespective 1.76 million viewers (CNN) and 1.02 million viewers (MSNBC) between9 and 11 p.m. ET.
Fox: 12.5 million viewers: the second highest in its history, and higher than the last Republican debate.
CNN, which gleefully aired Trump\’s snit-a-thon: 1.76 million viewers.
If anyone is wondering how Fox made out without Donald Trump on the podium, this, it seems to me, answers the question.
Now: how did the debaters make out with Trump gone?
Well, Jeb Bush – given a chance to talk issues instead of fending off vicious personal comments from a circus act pretending to be a serious presidential candidate – had a superior debate. So did Marco Rubio and so did Chris Christie – presumably for the same reason: that the elephant act was not hogging center ring.
But regardless of who did well and who did not, the focus of this debate was issues and policies, not infantile schoolyard BS.
I hope the people of Iowa were watching. Very, very closely.