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CNN’s Town Hall with Joe Biden Brings Up the Rear in Cable News Ratings


Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty ImagesDemocratic presidential hopeful former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues hosted by CNN and the Human rights Campaign Foundation at The Novo in Los Angeles on Oct. 10, 2019. (Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images)

Not long ago, former Vice President Joe Biden was at the top of the heap when it came to the Democratic presidential race. Now, he’s fallen to the bottom of TV ratings.

On Monday, a CNN town hall with Biden placed a distant third among cable news channels, according to The Hill.

Biden pulled in 1.15 million viewers, according to early ratings from Nielsen Media Research. His town hall ran from 9 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. Eastern Time. His last town hall on CNN, on Oct. 10, drew 1.34 million viewers.

During the time that Biden was on the air, Fox News was pulling in more than twice the number of viewers Biden did. Its combination of “Hannity” at 9 p.m. and “The Ingraham Angle” at 10 p.m. scored an average of 2.9 million total viewers. Over those two time slots, MSNBC finished second with 2.69 million viewers who tuned in to watch “All In with Chris Hayes” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

The results following the same lines in the 25-54 age bracket, Fox on top with 434,000 viewers, MSNBC with 428,000 viewers and Biden with 296,000 viewers.

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Biden used to be dominating the polls, and on May 10 hit a high watermark of 41.4 percent support, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls. Although the polls still have Biden out front, he is down to 26.8 percent support, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts breathing down his neck at 20.8 percent support.

Even worse for Biden, a new Monmouth University Poll shows that in Iowa, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has leapfrogged past the other candidates at the top of the race.

The new poll shows that Buttigieg has 22 percent support against Biden at 19 percent, Warren at 18 percent and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 13 percent.

The poll shows that since Monmouth’s August polling, Buttigieg has risen by 14 percentage points and Sanders has gained five points. The new poll shows that Biden has dropped seven points since August and Warren as dropped by two points.

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“Buttigieg is emerging as a top pick for a wide variety of Iowa Democrats. While he has made nominally bigger gains among older caucusgoers, you really can’t pigeonhole his support to one particular group. He is doing well with voters regardless of education or ideology,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

At least one voter who wanted inspiration came away from a Biden event in New Hampshire feeling flat.

“We listened to Biden speak when he was here, and I felt like I was going to fall asleep halfway through it,” Erin Sakolosky, 33, told the Los Angeles Times.

Biden, however, is not pushing a panic button.

“This is a typical Iowa caucus. A front-runner for the first six months gets the living devil kicked out of him and everything thrown at him. Which is OK by the way, not a bad thing. And then things tighten up, and all the folks coming up, all of the sudden, they start getting looked at closely,” Biden said, according to The Gazette.

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In a recent post on Medium, Biden responded to the attacks that he has faced as the front-runner.

“They reflect an angry unyielding viewpoint that has crept into our politics. If someone doesn’t agree with you — it’s not just that you disagree — that person must be a coward or corrupt or a small thinker,” Biden wrote after Warren said Biden was out of touch.

“Some call it the ‘my way or the highway’ approach to politics. But it’s worse than that. It’s condescending to the millions of Democrats who have a different view. It’s representative of an elitism that working and middle class people do not share: ‘We know best; you know nothing’. ‘If you were only as smart as I am you would agree with me.’”

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