CNN’s Trump Town Hall Averages 3.3M Viewers

CNN Trump town hall
(Image credit: CNN)

NEW YORK—CNN’s controversial Republican Presidential Town Hall on May 10 with former president Donald Trump ranked #1 in cable news and #2 in all of cable behind the NBA Playoffs on TNT in both total viewers and adults 25-54, according to Nielsen figures supplied by CNN.  

The Town Hall in New Hampshire averaged 3.308 million total viewers compared to 1.446 million in the town hall time slot for Fox News and 1.398 for MSNBC. 

Among adults 25-54, CNN beat all cable news competitors with 781k, 458% more than Fox News’ 140k and a 388% advantage over MSNBC’s 160k.

Among adults aged 25 to 54, Wednesday’s event was CNN’s #1 single-candidate town hall since 2016 among adults 25-54 but was behind CNN’s 2020 Joe Biden Town Hall on September 17, 2020 among total viewers with 3.465 million, according to data from CNN.

Audience data from Fox News press department indicated that the May 10 CNN town hall audiences were lower than than five Fox News Channel Town Halls with former President Trump which delivered 5.1 million P2+ on June 25, 2020, 4.4 million P2+ on March 24, 2020, 4.2 million P2+ on March 5, 2020, 3.8 million P2+ on May 3, 2020 and 3.5 million P2+ million on June 30, 2021. 

On CNN’s Digital platforms, CNN’s Republican Presidential Town Hall with Former President Donald Trump streamed live, without requiring a cable log-in, on’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android from 8 pm to 9:30 pm ET. It peaked with 149k concurrent viewers at 9:09 pm, the largest concurrent digital livestream audience for a CNN Election Town Hall since at least the 2020 cycle. The livestream generated nearly 1 million live video starts, CNN reported. 

Combining TV plus digital live streaming produced a combined average audience of 3.408 million total viewers. Digital viewing added a 3.0% lift to CNN’s TV P2+ average audience for the town hall, ranking 9th among all town halls on record. CNN coverage (8 pm to 9:09 pm ET) saw an average audience of 100k users live streaming the average minute of coverage (equivalent to the way TV ratings are calculated).

CNN also ranked #1 in prime time (8-11pm) on Wednesday among both total viewers and adults 25-54. Among total viewers, CNN had 2.293 million, +57% more than MSNBC’s 1.458 million and +36% more than Fox News’s 1.683 million. This marked CNN’s best performance in prime time since the 2022 Midterm Elections among total viewers on November 8 2022 with 2.608 million. 

Among adults 25-54, CNN averaged 510k, Fox News placed second with 189k and MSNBC was third with 157k. 

The event was significantly ahead of Trump’s last town hall appearance on CNN in 2016 in April 12, 2016, delivering +53% more total viewers (3.308 million vs. 2.168 million) and +35% more in the demo (781k vs. 579k), CNN reported.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.