It looks like Donald Trump has bragging rights over Hillary Clinton in one area. Fewer people tuned in to watch Clinton’s speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday than watched Trump’s speech to close last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
That’s according to television ratings showing that 33.3 million viewers tuned in across multiple TV networks to watch Clinton become the first woman in history to accept a major party’s nomination for president. That total falls just short of the 34.9 million people who tuned in a week earlier to watch Trump, who earlier this week pleaded with his followers to boycott watching Clinton’s historic speech.
While Trump’s own nomination acceptance speech may have won the ratings battle, though, the DNC easily averaged more viewers across the board than the RNC, as high-profile Democrats such as Bill Clinton, Tim Kaine, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama (along with non-party members, like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) all delivered notable speeches over the convention’s four days in Philadelphia.
With both conventions now finished, the final tally shows the DNC averaged 29.2 million viewers over four nights, while the RNC averaged only 25.2 million viewers last week, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (In fact, every night of the DNC averaged more TV viewers than each of the first three nights of the RNC, with the biggest audience tuning in for Trump’s speech last Thursday.)
CNN led all networks in ratings each night of its coverage of the DNC, pulling in 7.5 million viewers Thursday night.
Meanwhile, both Clinton and Trump fell short of topping the finales from each of the past two DNC’s, where Obama’s convention-closing speeches pulled in 38 million viewers in 2008 and 35.7 million in 2012. Trump also failed to approach the GOP’s ratings record of 38.9 million viewers, which John McCain set back at the 2008 RNC.
Much has been made about the stark differences in the tone and messaging of this year’s two major conventions. Clinton and other Democratic speakers focused on promoting hope and positivity around a message of making an already great country greater, while analysts have said Trump took more of a doom and gloom approach in which the billionaire and former reality TV star repeatedly tried to make a case for himself as a “law and order” candidate who is the only nominee capable of fixing the country’s problems.