The Sweep: Two Weeks’ Notice

Let’s be honest: There was not a lot of “must read” campaign news this week. A record amount of money and early voting continue to make headlines, but I didn’t think any of the specifics were worth our time to highlight. 

And the dueling town halls epitomized their respective stars—empathetic and evasive vs. confrontational and meandering. No surprise there. Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the town halls was the ratings. Nielsen reported that “Biden’s town hall on ABC averaged 14.1 million viewers, compared to about 13.5 million for Trump’s NBC town hall,” even though Trump’s event also appeared on MSNBC and CNBC. (And it looks like ABC was better able to monetize their event.)

Does this mean that enthusiasm for Biden’s campaign has overtaken Trump’s ride-or-die MAGA base? Maybe. Another possible explanation, though, is that NBC intentionally scuttled their own event after receiving mounds of internal and external criticism for counterprogramming the already-announced Biden event. In a less-than-subtle choice, MSNBC showed a scheduling graphic that night that didn’t even include the 8pm hour. 

Either way, it almost certainly makes this week’s debate Trump’s last opportunity to get in front a substantial number of registered voters who aren’t already voting for him. 

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