Fox’s second Republican primary debate had the lowest TV audience for any GOP presidential debate since Donald Trump's debut appearance in 2015, NBC reported Thursday.
Nielsen ratings topped out at a little more than 9 million viewers for Wednesday's Fox debate, held at the Reagan Library. That was down 3.5 million viewers from last month's event, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
In a broadcast that spanned Fox Business, Fox News Media's linear channels, and Univision, the prime-time presentation amassed 9.5 million viewers, 1.8 million of whom were in the 25-54 age group, The Hill reported.
Fox's first debate, held in Milwaukee in August, also saw a catastrophic ratings drop with about 50% less viewership than the first GOP debate of the 2016 race.
Former President Donald Trump did not participate in the first two Republican primary debates of this year, citing his double-digit lead in polling and characterizing his relationship with Fox as "hostile," The Hill reported.
On Wednesday night, Trump delivered a prime-time address in suburban Detroit that extended into the debate's broadcast time frame. Newsmax carried Trump's speech live.
The audience responded with audible disapproval when he mentioned the ongoing debate, saying, "We're competing with the job candidates."
Speaking to the Daily Caller on Thursday, Trump expressed his belief that the GOP should consider canceling forthcoming debates "because it is just bad for the Republican Party."
Regarding the next debate slated for Nov. 8 in Miami, Trump stated, "There is not going to be a breakout candidate."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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