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New Hampshire Primary Viewership On Three Major News Networks Falls From 2020, But Coverage Fares Better Than Last Week’s Iowa Caucuses

Donald Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday may have been driven by record turnout, but viewership across the three major news networks was way down from four years ago, with primetime coverage averaging almost 6 million.

In 2020, almost 8.7 million watched the coverage of the primary, which focused on the race for the Democratic nomination.

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That’s still better than the 4.67 million who watched the coverage of the Iowa caucuses on the networks last week, when networks went up against an NFL playoff game and the Emmy Awards.

Fox News topped this year’s primetime New Hampshire coverage, averaging 3.26 million, compared to 1.75 million for MSNBC and 994,000 for CNN. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 453,000, followed by CNN with 246,000 and MSNBC with 237,000.

Peak viewership came in the 8-9 p.m. ET hour, when networks called the race for Trump. Fox News averaged 3.91 million, followed by MSNBC with 1.98 million and CNN with 1.25 million. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 521,000, followed by CNN with 284,000 and MSNBC with 278,000.

The figures are from Nielsen via Fox News.

In 2020, Fox News drew 4.44 million to its New Hampshire primary coverage, compared to 2.62 million for MSNBC and 1.64 million for CNN. This year, networks called the race for Trump within a half hour of the final polls closing. By contrast, the race was called for Bernie Sanders in 2020 much later in the evening as he edged out Pete Buttigieg.

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