The Republican National Convention kicked off on Monday, despite Rachel Maddow‘s accurate description that the ‘real convention’ was over before the broadcast even began because the Roll Call and official nomination of Donald Trump had already taken place. What followed was more of an infomercial for the Trump brand, with Twitter mercilessly shredding the speech makers throughout the evening.
Now comes news more devastating to Donald Trump than any American deaths or potential lawsuits: his ratings were bad.
According to Nielsen, total TV viewership for night one of the RNC was 15.8 million. That represents about a 15% drop from the first night of the DNC, featuring former First Lady Michelle Obama, which drew 18.7 million viewers across all the three major broadcast networks and the three major cable news networks. The first night of the RNC dropped about 28% for the same night in 2016. The ratings do not include digital streaming, which has grown substantially in the past four years. Democrats and Republicans have promoted expanding viewing on various platforms, but accurately measuring those metrics can prove to be difficult.
While both MSNBC and Fox News cut away several times during the broadcast–the former to fact-check and air commercials–CNN kept the feed going and even drew praise from one of its biggest critics, Donald Trump himself. Tonight’s lineup promises more unhinged moments with Eric Trump, who is currently ducking a subpoena from the New York State Attorney General, still scheduled to speak along with his half-sister, Tiffany. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Melania Trump, who recently received intense criticism for her reworking of the Kennedy Rose Garden, will also appear.