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At C-SPAN, GOP sees huge online lead over Dems

While the media cooed over the drop in viewership for the first night of the GOP’s convention on legacy media like ABC, CBS and NBC, at least one online metric says that the Republican’s annual meeting is energized like never before.

The livestream by non-profit C-SPAN showed 440,000 viewers on Monday night for the RNC versus 76,000 viewers for the first night of the Democrats’ convention from the previous week, says the Hill.

Both political parties have seen a drop off in cable and broadcast viewership this year that has been partly offset by online streaming. The Democrats claimed that over 10 million people viewed their convention online, but the Republicans have yet to make a statement regarding total online viewership.

The GOP’s official YouTube account had 342,000 views on the first night, while the Democrats account saw 750,000 according to Politico. To some extent, that reflects the GOP’s distaste with using any Google product, as a result of the company’s discriminatory practices of online censorship of conservative views.

YouTube has a controversial policy of “de-platforming” content that they don’t like, such a PragerU, Steven Crowder and others.  

Conservatives also regularly tune out the broadcast media and cable mainstays such as CNN and MSNBC as being too biased.

The big winner amongst legacy media was Fox News which saw over 7 million viewers on the first night of the Republican convention.  

“Fox covered both the first nights of the RNC and DNC by airing the events live with commentary interspersed. MSNBC was the only cable network to air the entire DNC live, and none of the major cable networks broadcast the entire first night of the RNC without interruption,” says Politico.

Conservatives, however, were also displeased with Fox’s decision to talk over the GOP speeches rather than just let viewers listen. In general, conservatives, especially President Trump, have been displeased with Fox’s abandonment of the traditional GOP base, for more liberal commentators.  

“I was on Air Force One flying to the Great State of Texas, where I just landed. It is AMAZING in watching Fox News how different they are from four years ago. Not even watchable,” the president tweeted. “They totally forgot who got them where they are!” tweeted Trump last month.

The C-SPAN numbers are important because neither party has an axe to grind — too much — with the public service network created by the cable industry — although conservatives still claim it’s too liberal.

However, that might change.

Fox News is reporting that one caller to C-SPAN’s after-show said he’s changing his vote to Republican after watching the convention on C-SPAN.

“The caller, who identified himself only as Rick, from Lorain, Ohio, told the station that he decided — in part — to change his vote because of the way Republicans embraced the word ‘God,’” said Fox.

“The people on the Democratic side, at their convention — acted like they were pushing God right out of it. And that had a lot to do with changing my mind,” he said.

PHOTO: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

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