Fox News Averages Most Viewers on Election Night 2021

By A.J. Katz 

When they weren’t tuned into Game 6 of the World Series, it appears that Americans who were interested in watching national news coverage of the 2021 Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races on Tuesday night primarily tuned into Fox News Channel.

FNC drew the largest cable news audience in every hour from 7 p.m.-3 a.m. ET, according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen. Fox, as has been the case rather consistently in recent months, topped CNN and MSNBC combined in every hour of coverage in total viewers and A25-54. For the total coverage period (7 p.m.-3 a.m.), FNC averaged 3.32 million total viewers and 709,000 adults 25-54, whereas MSNBC averaged 1.11 million viewers and 195,000 adults 25-54, and CNN averaged 771,000 total viewers, but 241,000 adults 25-54 in the coverage period.

Fox News’ Tuesday viewership peaked in the 10 p.m. ET hour, helmed by Laura Ingraham, with 5 million viewers and 1 million in the 25-54 demo. During primetime, the network averaged 4.8 million viewers and 977,000 in the A25-54 demo.


Before and after primetime, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum held Election Night anchor duties.

Additionally, the 12 a.m. ET hour, when the Virginia election was called for Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, FNC won the hour with 2.9 million viewers and 690,000 adults 25-54, making it the highest-rated midnight hour for FNC in 2021. And finally, the network posted double-digit gains over the network’s election night coverage in 2017 in total viewers and the A25-54 demo.

7 p.m.-3 a.m. ET (Early data from Nielsen)

• Total Viewers: 3,320,000 1,106,000 771,000
• A25-54: 709,000 195,000 241,000