Donald Trump really, really wanted a ratings win over Joe Biden on Thursday night. After Trump backed out of the scheduled debate, he decided to do an NBC town hall at exactly the same time as Biden’s ABC town hall—a move that was expected to generate a Trump ratings win since his town hall would be simulcast on MSNBC and CNBC, while ABC doesn’t have any relevant cable networks for simulcasting a political event.
Well. Trump lost the ratings war anyway. Biden didn’t just pull in more viewers on ABC than Trump did on NBC, he got more viewers on ABC than Trump got on NBC and MSNBC and CNBC—13.9 million to 13 million. The ABC vs. NBC alone result was one “virtually no one in the TV business expected,” CNN reports. And there’s one very important message to take from this.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Trump really cares about this stuff, and he set it up so he thought he would definitely win, and he lost anyway. He could have done the remote debate and been guaranteed a huge audience. He could have done his town hall at a different time so that direct comparison would be more difficult. But no, Mr. Petty thought he was going to win and rub it in everyone’s faces.
As Biden digital director Rob Flaherty tweeted when the initial ratings came out, “only one presidential candidate is going to care about this and that is what makes it even better.”
Look for Trump to move the goalposts somehow or find a way to claim a win. When he does, laugh a little more.