Former Vice President Joe Biden appears to have trumped the President in a TV ratings battle in their competing town hall events last night, early data shows.
The early data shows that Biden’s ABC News event attracted an audience of 12.7 million.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump drew 10.4 million viewers to his town hall broadcast on NBC.
The Nielsen data is only early figures and the outcome could change when the final numbers are tallied.
Updated figures, including the addition of viewership on Comcast Corp’s cable networks that simulcast the Trump event, were expected later on Friday.
The early data shows that Joe Biden’s ABC News event attracted an audience of 12.7 million compared to President Trump’s 10.4 million viewers on NBC
The early ratings came as Trump complained on Friday that his Democratic rival wasn’t asked about his son Hunter’s emails about the Ukraine during his town hall meeting.
Coming off a combative town hall of his own with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, Trump spent Friday morning in a tweet storm – sending off more than 30 missives featuring complaints about Biden, praise for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and an accusation that Twitter was down on Thursday to slow the online spread of a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
The president claimed Biden had a ‘very bad showing’ at his town hall with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and slammed the network for not asking about Hunter.
‘Sleepy Joe Biden had a very bad showing last night, despite the fact that @GStephanopoulos didn’t ask him any questions on his being a “corrupt politician”. Big Tech & Lamestream Media are working hard to hide this corruption!!!’ Trump wrote.
Trump echoed criticism from conservatives, who complained that Guthrie interrupted Trump with a ‘question every 12 seconds’ while Stephanopoulos was accused of forgetting to ask Biden about his son Hunter’s emails.
In his combative town hall, Trump struggled to answer questions about his COVID testing, his taxes and his debt.
The two presidential contenders had dueling town halls Thursday night in place of the second presidential debate that was canceled after Trump refused to participate virtually.
Coming off a combative town hall of his own with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie (pictured above), President Trump spent Friday morning in a tweet storm firing of some 30 tweets
The president, however, tooted his own horn Friday morning, claiming he got ‘good reviews’ and, that thanks to ‘strong’ poll numbers, a Republican wave was coming on November 3.
‘Very good reviews on last night’s @NBCNews Town Hall in Miami. Thank you!!!’ he tweeted.
And he wrote: ‘Polls numbers are looking very strong. Big crowds, great enthusiasm. Massive RED WAVE coming!!!’
Biden leads Trump in most major polls both nationally and in critical battleground states.
The split-screen town halls Thursday night could not have been more different: while Stephanopoulos barely interrupted Biden, Guthrie asked more questions than the undecided voters the evening was dedicated to and challenged Trump repeatedly in a way the president doesn’t usually experience, given his preference for interviews with friendlier news outlets.
‘Let’s waste a whole show,’ he snapped at her when she asked him about the retweets on his Twitter feed, which have contained QAnon conspiracy theories and unproven claims Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden’s body double.
‘You’re not somebody’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever,’ Guthrie told him as she pressed him on the issue.
She kept the president on his toes with quick questions and repeated follow ups, pushing him to answer questions he tried to deflect away – which conservative backers of Trump said was proof of media bias.
Soon after the debate ended, however, Trump’s campaign boasted he had ‘defeated opponent’ Guthrie, saying he had ‘masterfully handled her attacks’.
On ABC, Joe Biden was questioned by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, to an audience of undecided voters and set a far more sedate tone