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Fox News leads election night amid uncertain outcome

November 4, 2020

There is no final result to the presidential election in sight at time of writing, but the primetime tune-in numbers show that Fox News was the clear winner in the US with 11.6 million households between 7pm and 2am eastern, according to data from Samba TV.

CNN was second with 10.7 million households, followed by the broadcast networks: NBC (8.2 million), ABC (7.9 million), and CBS (6.3 million). The other cable news net, MSNBC, came in sixth overall, with 5.1 million households during primetime.

Other highlights from Samba’s primetime election night study include:

High/low income split with cable and broadcast: The highest income households and older households over-indexed on PBS, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, while lower-income households and younger households over-indexed on the broadcast networks.Where do battleground states turn? The three big states that remain up for grabs, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania had differing patterns for primetime tune in:

  • PA households over-indexed the most on ABC’s coverage (+20 per cent), followed closely by MSNBC (+17 per cent).
  • MI households over-indexed big on Fox’s partial primetime coverage (+59 per cent), followed distantly by NBC (+25).
  • In WI, WGN (+65 per cent) and Fox (+49 per cent) over-indexed by the highest degree

DC, Northeast turn to liberal MSNBC:
DC massively over indexed on MSNBC (+143 per cent), as did many northeastern states (RI +56 per cent, NY +47 per cent, Maryland +39 per cent, Maine +31 per cent).

Alabama loves Fox News: The state over-indexed the most for the cable network, at +31 per cent. And while DC over-indexed the highest for MSNBC, it under-indexed the most for Fox News (-40 per cent).

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