Ratings for GOP Convention Plummet
The Republican National Convention last week saw its television viewership plummet compared to the convention in 2008. This suggests that interest in the current presidential race might not be as high as in some of the previous races. However, online the convention was a huge hit, especially on the Web’s social networks. This is the latest evidence that political conversation is gradually migrating from what has been traditional media to the Internet.
The Nielsen ratings company estimated that over 30 million viewers on 11 television networks saw convention coverage on Thursday, the last night of the convention when Republican nominee Mitt Romney presented the prime time speech. That figure is a 23% drop from the same night in 2008 when close to 39 million watchers tuned in to see John McCain the then Republican nominee address convention delegates and the nation.
The plunge of viewership on the television was even greater on Wednesday night when Paul Ryan, the vice presidential nominee attracted only 22 million viewers when he gave his acceptance speech. That figure represented a drop of over 41% from the 37 million who watched Sarah Palin give her debut speech as the vice presidential nominee on McCain’s ticket.
An older audience watched the convention last week on TV. Of the more than 22 million to watch Ann Romney on Tuesday, close to 15 million were older than 55 and only 1.5 million were between the ages of 18 and 34. The election in 2008 was one of the only conventions in the past 20 years that did not see a decline in television viewership.
This week the Democrats have their national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina and signs point to less television viewers for their convention as well.