Cable News Ratings: CNN’s Nikki Haley Town Hall Reaches 562,000 Viewers, Down 83% From Trump’s

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The network’s divisive Trump town hall drew in 3.3 million viewers in May

Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley greets voters at a town hall event (Photo credit: Getty Collection)
Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley greets voters at a town hall event (Photo credit: Getty Collection)

CNN’s town hall with Republican nominee candidate Nikki Haley drew in an audience of 562,000 total viewers, down 83% from the network’s highly criticized town hall with Donald Trump last month.

As the former South Carolina Governor hoped to lure Republicans away from 2024 GOP presidential rivals Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the town hall event drew in 562,000 total viewers and 136,000 viewers in the cable key demographic among adults 25-54, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings.

As expected, the town hall did not captivate the same 3.3 million viewers that tuned in for CNN’s town hall with former President Trump, which was moderated by Kaitlan Collins and became the network’s second most watched single-candidate town hall since 2016. Demo viewership was also down over 80% from the Trump event’s 781,000 viewers in the demo.

The network’s 2020 town hall with Joe Biden remains CNN’s most watched single-candidate town hall with 3.47 million total viewers tuning in for the event.

From 8:00 p.m. ET to 9:30 p.m. ET, when the Nikki Haley town hall aired on CNN, CNN scored the highest demo viewership among the cable news networks as its 136,000 demo viewers took first place while Fox News’ Channel’s “Life, Liberty and Levin” at 8:00 p.m. ET and “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” at 9:00 p.m. scored a combined demo viewership of 67,000 in the timeslot and MSNBC’s “Ayman” at 8:00 p.m. ET and “The Mehdi Hasan Show” at 9:00 p.m. ET received a combined demo viewership of 34,000.

In terms of total viewers during the 8:00 p.m. ET to 9:30 p.m. ET timeslot, Fox News led total viewership with 1.16 million total viewers, doubling CNN’s total viewership of 562,000. MSNBC fell shortly behind CNN with 456,000 total viewers during the airing of the town hall.

The town hall also boosted CNN’s overall viewership during Sunday’s primetime, with CNN garnering the highest demo viewership of the night with an average of 122,000 viewers in the demo, while Fox News came in second place with 64,000 viewers in the demo and MSNBC coming in third place with 34,000 viewers in the demo.

The event did not boost the network enough to score a primetime total viewership win, however as Fox News led the evening with an average of 1.0 million total viewers while CNN scored 514,000 total viewers on average and MSNBC received an average of 412,000 total viewers.

For reference, the viewership figures for the buzzy Trump town hall boosted CNN to become the most-watched cable channel during that evening’s primetime, as CNN averaged 2.293 million total viewers as compared Fox News’ 1.683 million viewers on Wednesday, May 10. That evening, CNN also swept demo viewership in primetime with 510,000 viewers in the demo while Fox News came in second with 189,000 viewers in the demo.

CNN will soon host another town hall with former Vice President Mike Pence, whose Dana Bash-moderated event will debut on the network on Wednesday, June 7, at 9 p.m. ET.