Why Fox News Should Dominate Cable News Ratings for 1st Presidential Debate

Fox News has claimed most viewers for the first presidential debate in the last three cycles, but CNN has won two of those three in the key demo

If history is any indicator, Fox News will handily sweep cable competitors CNN and MSNBC in total average viewers for Tuesday night’s presidential debate, the first between Republican incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The winner in the key demo of viewers between 25 and 54, however, might be CNN, which won the advertiser-coveted age demo two of the last three cycles.

In 2008, according to Nielsen Media Research, 8.211 million total average viewers watched Fox News as Democratic nominee Barack Obama took on his senatorial colleague Republican John McCain. CNN was close behind with 7.140 total average viewers for the 9 p.m. ET face-off, while MSNBC trailed behind with 3.922 million.

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Lindsey Ellefson

Lindsey Ellefson

Media reporter • lindsey.ellefson@thewrap.com • Twitter: @ellefs0n