Fox News is the unquestionable winner of the GOP debate.
It doesn’t matter if you’re pulling for Jeb Bush or think that Ben Carson makes some good points. It doesn’t matter if you think hardliners Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, or Rick Santorum are the GOP’s best choice for a candidate. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve jumped on the Donald Trump bandwagon. Out of all the discussion, bickering, infighting, and political turmoil that’s erupted from the GOP debates, the clear winner is Fox News.
When Fox News aired its GOP debate last Thursday night, featuring the 10 highest-polling GOP presidential candidates, Fox News pulled in the highest ratings of the week in both broadcast and cable with over 24 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings company. The GOP debate on Fox pulled in more than twice the number of viewers of the second-highest rated program for the week, NBC’s Hall of Fame Game.
Even Fox News’ post-debate show, The Kelly File, starring the debate’s popular and controversial co-moderator Megyn Kelly, pulled in huge numbers, making it the third highest-ranking show of the week with just under 11 million viewers.
So what’s with the huge numbers? Experts believe it’s a case of “love it or hate it” programming. Certainly, a large number of those who viewed the GOP debate on Fox News were interested in the GOP candidates and wanted to hear what they had to say. Another portion of the viewers are strictly anti-GOP and watched the debate to add fuel to the fire of their own viewpoints. And then there are those viewers who watched the GOP debate on Fox News because of Donald Trump.
A record 24 million people tuned in to the first GOP debate last week: http://t.co/ZuXD6F2IzC
— Forbes (@Forbes) August 14, 2015
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) August 11, 2015
Trump has insulted or annoyed just about everyone at this point in his campaign (including members of the Republican Party and Fox News moderators), and it’s working. Trump is currently leading the GOP field of likely candidates in every major poll except for the Reuters/IPSOS, in which he’s tied with Jeb Bush. No one, possibly not even Donald Trump himself, can predict what the billionaire candidate will say or do next, and it’s clearly one of the main reasons the Fox News GOP debates are getting such immense viewer numbers. Everyone is tuning in to hear the next calculated gaff, insult or boast.
Odds are you watched the GOP debate on Fox News. Who did you think was the winner?
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]