Speed Reads

town hall battle

Ratings-obsessed Trump won't be happy with the early town hall numbers

President Trump appears to be losing the ratings war to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Early ratings so far suggest Biden's Thursday town hall on ABC drew in 12.7 million viewers, Variety reports. Meanwhile Trump's simultaneously-held town hall event brought in 10.4 million viewers, early ratings indicate.

Trump has been focused on his TV ratings long before he entered the White House. He spent the early days of his presidency dragging Arnold Schwarzenegger, his Celebrity Apprentice replacement, for bringing in lower ratings than he'd once gotten, and carried that obsession into the COVID-19 pandemic as he boasted his task force press conferences were beating out news networks and reality shows.

Biden scheduled his ABC town hall first after Trump dropped out of the town-hall style presidential debate they were set to appear at Thursday night. Trump later scheduled one at the same time with NBC, which aired on more channels and platforms than Biden's, but was half an hour shorter. Updated ratings could still put Trump ahead, but for now, Biden appears to have the ratings advantage. Expect a tweet from Trump trying to prove the ratings wrong shortly.