Donald Trump was on CNN, MSNBC and was talked about on the Fox News GOP Presidential debate that he chose to boycott on Thursday night in Iowa. Fox’s Trump-less debate had 12.5 million viewers between 9 and 11 p.m., according to Nielsen.
Without any big time promotion for his event two of the cable channels, showed parts of Trump’s fundraising event, CNN and MSNBC, had about 2.7 million viewers combined. Along with the MSNBC, CNN along with a large number of smaller cable outlets and a countless websites that streamed the event.
Practically speaking, there is no way Trump’s event could have out-rated the debate. But ratings experts said Trump did appear to take a chunk out of Fox’s audience.
However it was the one of the lowest rated debates of the six previous GOP Debates. The only debate that had fewer viewers was the one that aired on the Fox Business Channel which is in fewer cable homes.
Fox averaged a record-smashing 25 million viewers last August during the first debate of the season. Trump clashed with moderator Megyn Kelly that time — and avoided a rematch by skipping Thursday’s debate.
No one in the TV news business expected Fox to surpass the 25 million mark this time. This was a high-stakes debate just a few days before the Iowa caucuses missed Donald Trump and the numbers showed reflected his absence.
So, Trump wins the night despite holding his own event and taking a pass on the Fox News GOP Debate and he wins Thursday night without showing up for the debate. Trump beats Fox News, something that no GOP candidate has ever done.