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22 Million


The Page is linking to a report from the LA Times blog on the Nielsen ratings from last night:

The opening night of the Democratic National Convention drew more than 22 million viewers, a 20% larger audience than in 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research.

If you want even more detail on the numbers (and I know you do) check out this post on the very helpful blog, TV By The Numbers.

To keep all of these numbers in perspective, consider that 22 million is double the 10.7 million that watched ABC's broadcast of the April 16 Clinton-Obama debate in Pennsylvania and five to twenty times the audience size of the many debates broadcast in 2007.

On the other hand, 22 million is still a far cry from the 62 million that watched the first Bush-Kerry debate in 2004.

These numbers show us that while the conventions are the most watched political events so far this cycle, they are still not quite the voters-as-jury experience that we sometimes assume. The news coverage that excerpts speeches and convention "moments" reaches a far bigger cumulative audience. Those of us interested in measuring the impact of the debates need to allow time for Americans to view that coverage, absorb it and sleep on it for a few days.

In other words, be patient and stop worrying about the "bounce" (or lack thereof) in daily tracking. Conventions matter, but the response we are interested is not necessarily instant.

 

Comments
cinnamonape:

Mark...a 20% increase is substantial....especially in this day of so many other ways to avoid watching TV.

Could this mean that the Democratic base is more "involved" and "interested" than in 2004? Or that the increased recruitment efforts as indicated by new registrations of Democrats is reflected in this viewership?

Any comments on Pelosi's assertion that the pollsters aren't properly modelling what will be the actual electorate in November?

If these are indeed new or younger Democrats watching the Convention would that suggest that the LV models are not picking up the increased enthusiasm by new Democrats or leaning Independents?

I would say that the critical comparison will be with the viewership of the Republican convention. If they don't also show an increased viwership comparable to the Democrats it might indicate a lack of enthusiasm on the part of their supporters.

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