Fox News Scores Big With Bernie Sanders Town Hall, Posts Highest Ratings of Any 2020 Forum to Date
Fox News’ town hall featuring presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) marked the top-rated such event in the 2020 election so far, per data accumulated by Nielsen Media Research.
The town hall, which was held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET, accumulated 2,554,000 viewers total and 489,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic. CNN’s competing numbers for that hour were 913,000 and 281,000 in the demo, while MSNBC recorded 1,441,000 and just over 200,000 in the 25-54 range. Sanders’s appearance on the network set the record for top-rated weekday cable news program this year.
Most of the declared 2020 candidates have already held similar events on CNN, with more to follow. South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg is reportedly in talks to participate in a Fox News town hall of his own.
The Democratic candidate held the event several weeks after the DNC announced they would not hold a primary debate on the network, and has since been criticized by some on the left due to Fox News’ recent spate of controversies.
During the event, Sanders was interviewed by Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. The most notable moment of the town hall was the crowd’s loudly positive reaction to the Democratic socialist’s Medicare for All plan.
Sanders also called President Donald Trump “a dangerous president,” but called on Democrats not to “focus on him” or they will lose.
“Our job is to develop an agenda that speaks to the needs of workers and if we do that we’re going to win and win big,” he said.
The leading Democratic candidate later called on the president to release his tax returns after noting “the president watches your network a little bit.”
Trump was apparently watching Sanders remarks on his favorite network, as he tweeted how “weird” it is “to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews.”
“Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the ‘audience’ was so smiley and nice,” the president commented. “Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?”
[image via screengrab]
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