Last night’s Democratic presidential debate had the lowest ratings of any of this year’s debates:
According to Nielsen figures provided to Variety, the Los Angeles debate hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico and simulcast on CNN drew just over 2 million viewers across PBS stations nationwide, and was seen on CNN by just over 4 million people.
PBS told Variety that the debate live streams across the participating networks’ digital and social platforms totaled more than 8.4 million viewers.
Those numbers are even worse than the ones for the fifth debate that was hosted by MSNBC. In contrast, 18.1 million tuned in to the Democrats’ first debate, in June. Six months later, the Democrats have lost most of their television audience.
This doesn’t surprise me. With Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard gone, why would anyone watch? To see Bernie wave his arms, Elizabeth Warren hector viewers, Joe Biden stumble and fumble? I don’t blame viewers for tuning out.
You can’t read too much into TV ratings, obviously, but there is an obvious lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic candidates. The fact that Slow Joe Biden, now apparently in his dotage, continues to lead the pack, tells you all you need to know. No wonder ratings are dropping.
Everything changes, of course, when the voting starts. Contenders turn into pretenders. We will see how things shake out when delegates are actually being selected, but the fact that the Democratic contenders are inspiring so little enthusiasm is a problem that won’t go away.