NewsNation’s GOP Debate Coverage Draws More Than 4 Million, A Drop From The Last Republican Faceoff But A Record For The Network

Viewership for the fourth Republican debate fell since the last event, drawing more than 4 million for Nexstar’s NewsNation and its simulcast on The CW.

But it was a record night for NewsNation, which drew 1.6 million viewers for its debate coverage, the largest audience in its history, according to Nielsen’s early fast national numbers. Another 2.5 million watched the simulcast on The CW, giving it its most watched program since 2018. In the 25-54 demo, NewsNation drew more than 350,000 viewers and The CW drew nearly 500,000.

More from Deadline

That said, the debate audience was down from the last event in November, continuing a trend since the first GOP gathering. Some 7.51 million watched the Nov. 8 debate across NBC News and its streaming and digital platforms. That debate averaged 6.86 million viewers on NBC alone.

The first Republican debate in August, hosted by Fox News, drew 12.8 million viewers.

Sean Hannity’s town hall with Donald Trump on Tuesday, a bit of pre-counter programming, drew 3.2 million viewers. Hannity’s debate last week between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom drew 4.75 million viewers, and 5.46 million when a west coast repeat was added.

During the NewsNation debate coverage on Wednesday, Jesse Watters Tonight drew 2.43 million and Hannity drew 1.98 million. On MSNBC, All in with Chris Hayes drew 1.41 million viewers and Alex Wagner Tonight posted 1.43 million. On CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 drew 614,000 and King Charles garnered 466,000.

DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy participated in the debate from Tucaloosa, AL. The debate was moderated by Elizabeth Vargas, Megyn Kelly and Eliana Johnson.

NewsNation, formerly WGN America, launched in 2021, with a primetime newscast debuting the previous year.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.