Donald Trump's town hall with Fox News' Sean Hannity, despite being the most-viewed cable news program on Wednesday, brought in 3.164 million viewers. This figure is significantly less than the 1.5 million viewers drawn by the debate between GOP presidential primary contender Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom. The robust viewership of 4.75 million for the debate, aired the previous Thursday, was Hannity's highest-rated broadcast of the year. Surprisingly, Trump's town hall also lagged behind his previous town hall with CNN's Kaitlan Collins, which attracted 3.3 million viewers.
Competitive Cable News Ratings
Despite the performance of Trump's town hall, the Hannity-moderated debate and its subsequent coverage garnered significantly higher ratings. In a close race with Trump's numbers, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's interview with Trump critic Liz Cheney attracted 3.149 million viewers. These ratings assume particular significance given Trump's known fascination with viewership figures and the competitive landscape of cable news ratings.
Trump's 'Dictator' Comment Sparks Outrage
Trump's recent comment at the Iowa town hall, where he bizarrely compared himself to Al Capone and claimed he would act like a dictator if re-elected, but only for day one, sparked widespread outrage. This extraordinary vow, made in front of Fox News host Sean Hannity, has caused quite a stir. Meanwhile, his call to supporters to 'guard the vote' during the next year's election has raised concerns among pro-democracy advocates, who interpret it as a signal for extreme measures that could intimidate voters and jeopardize election workers.
Increasing Legal Troubles
Adding to Trump's challenges, Eric Trump's second appearance on the witness stand for the Trump Organization's New York fraud trial did not proceed on Wednesday. Additionally, 10 pro-Trump fake electors in Wisconsin are settling a civil case against them for their attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in favor of Mr. Trump. A similar scheme in Nevada has led to the indictment of six Republicans by a grand jury. Kenneth Chesebro, the lawyer known as the architect of the plot to swing the election to the former president, is cooperating with authorities after pleading guilty in Georgia.