More than 9 million people watched the second Republican presidential primary debate, down 3.5 million viewers from the first one, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
In a multinetwork 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.
The first Republican primary debate, which aired on Fox News last month, drew nearly 13 million viewers.
According to NBC, it’s the lowest TV audience for any GOP presidential debate since Donald Trump’s debut appearance on the debate stage in 2015, which drew 24 million viewers.
Former President Donald Trump did not participate in the first two Republican primary debates, citing his double-digit lead in polling and characterizing his relationship with Fox as “hostile,” The Hill reported.
“He should be on this stage tonight,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “He owes it to you to defend his record where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt. That set the stage for the inflation we have now.”
Trump instead delivered a prime-time address in suburban Detroit that extended into the debate’s commencement. 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 ✉
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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