TV viewership for last week's Republican National Convention dropped sharply from 2008, suggesting interest in this presidential race falls short of some past contests. But the convention was a hit online and on social networks, the latest evidence of the political conversation's gradual migration from traditional media to the Web.
The Nielsen Co. estimates that about 30.3 million viewers across 11
television networks watched convention coverage Thursday night when Mitt
Romney delivered his prime-time speech accepting the GOP presidential
nomination. That's a 23 percent plunge from the same night four years
ago when nearly 39 million people tuned in to watch then-GOP nominee
John McCain address the convention and the nation.
The erosion of TV viewership from 2008 was sharper still on Wednesday
night when Romney running mate Paul Ryan drew about 22 million viewers
for his acceptance speech. That's a 41 percent drop from 2008 when some
37 million tuned in for vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin's debut on
the national stage.
The Republican convention drew an older audience on TV. Of the 22
million who watched Ann Romney speak on Tuesday night, Nielsen found
that nearly 15 million were 55 or older. Only 1.5 million were age
The 2008 election was an outlier from an otherwise consistent decline
in viewership for political conventions over the past 20 years.
The full Associated Press story
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