Donald Trump’s latest move, skipping Thursday night’s GOP debate due to his apparent fear of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, may have not had as much of an impact as Trump predicted, as it actually had higher ratings than the last debate with Donald Trump.
Thursday night’s debate had 12.5 million viewers, according to the Neilson ratings. Trump’s parallel press conference was broadcast on CNN and MSNBC, where it was seen by a combined 2.7 viewers. The actual numbers are far off from Trump’s tweets that predicted terrible ratings for the broadcast.
The 12.5 million who tuned in last night is actually more than the Fox Business Network debate from two weeks ago, which had 10 million viewers. However, the drop in numbers may be because Fox Business is less available and harder to find on cable networks.
The "debate" tonight will be a total disaster – low ratings with advertisers and advertising rates dropping like a rock. I hate to see this.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2016
Despite his incorrect predictions, Trump played off his defeat as a victory. Trump claimed that if he was present, the event would have had the highest debate ratings ever, breaking the record held by the August 2015 Fox News debate. Fox was not expecting to break any records with the final debate, even if Trump attended.
They say that if I participated in last night’s Fox debate, they would have had 12 million more & would have broken the all time record.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2016
Trump’s move was an attempt to send a message to the media to convince them to cater to his demands, or else he would walk and the ratings would follow. By standing up to Trump, Fox News did the near impossible and actually had liberals on their side.