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Thompson, Lieberman Draw Fewer Viewers Than Dems’ Day 2
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Thompson, Lieberman Draw Fewer Viewers Than Dems’ Day 2

More than 21.5 million people watched the second night of the 2008 Republican National Convention — a 17% decrease from the 26 million viewers who tuned in last week for day two of the Democratic National Convention.

Tuesday night’s speeches by Former Senator Fred Thompson and Senator Joe Lieberman drew many more women (11.2 million) than men (9.5 million), as was also the case on day two of the Democratic convention, when Hillary Clinton delivered her endorsement of Barack Obama.

So far, coverage of the GOP convention has not drawn the large numbers of African American viewers that the Democrats’ convention attracted last week.  On Tuesday night, 2.1 million African American viewers (5.8% of all African Americans) tuned in for coverage of the RNC.  In comparison, more than double that number — 4.6 million African Americans (12.7% of all African Americans) — tuned in to day two of the DNC.

  Rating Number 
All Households 14.2 16,235,000
Persons 2+ 7.3 21,528,000
Women 18+ 9.7 11,200,000
Men 18+ 8.8 9,519,000
Persons 12-17 1.4 220,000
Persons 18-34 3.7 2,508,000
Persons 18-49 5.4 7,226,000
Persons 55+ 16.1 11,427,000
African American Persons 2+ * 5.8 2,133,000
Hispanic Persons 2+ * 1.8 847,000
White Persons 2+ * 8.5 18,045,000
Source: The Nielsen Company (September 2, 2008)
Figures are the sum of the networks during the common hour of coverage. Included networks are ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.
*Ratings for African American, Hispanic, and White viewers show the percent of African American, Hispanic, and White persons age two and older in TV homes watching the convention coverage.

Compared to day two of the 2004 GOP convention, which drew more than 22 million viewers, the audience for day two of the 2008 convention was slightly lower, with approximately 600,000 fewer viewers.  

On Tuesday, September 2, 2008, convention coverage varied by network, with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC airing live coverage from approximately 10pm to 11pm EST.

On Monday, September 1, the first night of the GOP convention, TV coverage of Hurricane Gustav replaced planned coverage of the convention on most broadcast and cable networks.  As a result, Nielsen did not be provide audience estimates for Monday night’s convention.

View the full media alert.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, TV Week, and Variety.