There are still 17 months until Election Day 2020, but Democratic party candidates and networks have been coming together for televised town halls since January.
In addition to former vp Joe Biden (who has yet to do a televised town hall) polls show Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and California Senator Kamala Harris as being two of the early front runners for the party nomination.
The ratings for their town halls show something similar.
Sen. Harris was featured on the first CNN Town Hall of 2019 (held on January 28). That town hall happens to be CNN’s most-watched of the year to-date, both in total viewers (1.95 million) and among the key A25-54 demo (708,000). The town hall took place not long after Sen. Harris announced her candidacy, and as you’ll see below, the two most popular town hall broadcasts of the year to-date among the demo feature Sen. Harris.
Fox News has gotten into the act of hosting town halls for Democratic presidential candidates as well, much to the chagrin of many on the left. One town hall has stood out above the rest, and that’s the Fox News’ Town Hall on April 16 featuring Sen. Sanders. That Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. town hall averaged more than 2.5 million total viewers, the largest audience of any televised town hall of the 2020 Democratic primary season.
One week after Fox News-Sen. Sanders town hall was CNN’s big town hall night, with the network presenting four consecutive hours of CNN Town Halls featuring 2020 candidates. Sen. Amy Klobuchar kicked things off in the 7 p.m. hour, with Pete Buttigieg closing the series in the 11 p.m. hour.
MSNBC has hosted a handful of town halls in recent weeks. Being the left-leaning network it is (at least in prime time), one should safely assume MSNBC will be broadcasting many more as the year continues.
However, Fox News will host the next televised town hall on Thursday June 13, featuring former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development Julián Castro. Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum will moderate that hour-long town hall live from Arizona at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Here’s a run down of the cable news town halls in 2019 to-date (through June 5). The list is sorted by most to least-watched in total viewers.
Date: Network | Time | Candidate | Total Viewers / A25-54 Viewers
- April 16: Fox News | 6:30 p.m. | Sen. Bernie Sanders | 2,554,000 / 489,000
- May 28: MSNBC | 10 p.m. | Sen. Kamala Harris | 2,209,000 / 307,000
- June 5: MSNBC | 8 p.m. | Sen. Elizabeth Warren | 1,967,000 / 310,000
- January 28: CNN | 10 p.m. | Sen. Kamala Harris | 1,954,000 / 708,000
- June 3: MSNBC | 7 p.m. | Pete Buttigieg | 1,645,000 / 189,000
- May 8: Fox News | 6:30 p.m. | Sen. Amy Klobuchar | 1,608,000 / 235,000
- April 23: CNN | 10 p.m. | Sen. Kamala Harris | 1,440,000 /496,000
- April 23: CNN | 9 p.m. | Sen. Bernie Sanders | 1,336,000 / 457,000
- April 23: CNN | 8 p.m. | Sen. Elizabeth Warren | 1,180,000 / 332,000
- April 23: CNN | 11 p.m. | Pete Buttigieg | 1,179,000 / 389,000
- June 13: Fox News | 6:30 p.m. | Julián Castro | 1,131,000 / 194,000
- May 19: Fox News | 7 p.m. | Pete Buttigieg | 1,110,000 / 172,000
- April 23: CNN | 7 p.m. | Sen. Amy Klobuchar | 869,000 / 183,000
- June 2: Fox News | 7 p.m. | Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand | 834,000 / 92,000
- May 21: CNN | 10 p.m. | Beto O’Rourke | 719,000 / 196,000
- April 11: CNN | 10 p.m. | Julián Castro | 654,000 / 174,000
- April 10: CNN | 10 p.m. | Gov. Jay Inslee | 549,000 / 186,000
- April 9: CNN | 10 p.m. | Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand | 507,000 / 122,000
- May 30: CNN | 10 p.m. | Sen. Michael Bennet | 489,000 / 136,000
- June 2: CNN | 8 p.m. | Rep. Eric Swalwell | 401,000 / 85,000
- June 2: CNN | 7 p.m. | Rep. Tim Ryan | 374,000 / 84,000
- June 2: CNN | 6 p.m. | Rep. Seth Moulton | 368,000 / 92,000
- April 14: CNN | 7 p.m. | Andrew Yang | 319,000 / 96,000
- April 14: CNN | 6 p.m. | Marianne Williamson | 316,000 / 83,000