Trump is in a ratings slump as millions of Americans tune him out.
Millions of people tuned in for the first night of Democratic debates on NBC News — not only tying the ratings record for Democratic debates, but also crushing Trump's poorly rated prime-time special earlier in the month.
"15.3 million watched on NBC, MSNBC & Telemundo, equaling record for the most-watched Dem primary debate ever," New York Times writer Michael Grynbaum noted on Twitter after NBC released the ratings data on Thursday.
3.9 million people watched Trump in his June 17 prime-time special on ABC, which failed to win its time slot against the U.S. Open. Trump's special was watched by even fewer people than "Family Feud," which was in the same slot on the same network the week before.
NBC said 9 million people watched its online stream of the Democratic debate, also far outperforming Trump's recent special.
The Democratic debate showcased 10 of the 20 candidates who have qualified for the debates, in a field where many of the top candidates are already outpolling Trump in head-to-head matchups.
"We're 495 days out from the election. Seven months from Iowa," Grynbaum noted. "There is intense interest in this election."
Executives at the network had not expected such high ratings.
"NBC executives privately said they'd be surprised to top 10 million viewers," CNN reported Thursday.
Trump's prime-time special wasn't his only ratings dud recently. Many voters, it seems, are tired of his antics and are simply tuning him out.
"President Donald Trump’s guest appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday failed to draw significantly higher viewership for the program, mirroring his recent performance on other networks," CNBC noted on Wednesday.
Trump only drew 3.1 million viewers for "Meet the Press" with host Chuck Todd, just a slight increase over previous weeks — even though Trump's appearance was an unusual event, since he has largely avoided "Meet the Press" as well as most outlets other than Fox News.
Trump has been trending downward in television ratings over the last two years. He had 18.77 million viewers in a November 2016 interview with "60 Minutes" after the election, then just 11.29 million viewers in October 2018 on the same program.
A month later, voters turned out in historic fashion to vote against Trump's agenda and deliver control of the House to Democrats.
Trump has prided himself for years on bringing in attention and viewers. But he never had the support of most Americans — and now they would rather watch Democrats on TV than him.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.