2018 Midterm Elections Viewership Analysis 2018-11-19T20:57:11+00:00

TV Insights

See How Viewers Across The Country Watched Midterm Elections

The 2018 Midterms were a political spectacle, and the nation watched through the lens of cable news. Samba TV analyzed viewership across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to uncover insights and trends throughout election night.

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2018 Midterms: Cable News Viewership

Fox News led in overall viewership of Midterm Election coverage.

  • According to Samba TV’s analysis, Fox News captured nearly half of all cable news viewers while CNN and MSNBC combined for 52% of the cable news audience.
  • Additionally, Fox News viewers watched a higher percentage of CNN or MSNBC coverage than the inverse of CNN or MSNBC viewers tuning-into Fox News.
2018 NHL Playoffs viewership by playoff round

2018 Midterms: Demographic analysis

The age trends indicate that younger viewers were less engaged with cable news on election night, and likely following the results through digital/online sources.

  • MSNBC had the highest disparity between age groups with viewers 18-54 under-indexing against the US average, while viewers 55-75+ watched at a higher rate than other networks.
  • Fox News was the only network with younger viewers aged 18-24 indexing higher than the US average, however its viewers also skewed heavily Caucasian as every other ethnicity group fell below the average by a significant margin.
Samba TV Insights - Viewership retention breakdown for Jimmy Fallon
Samba TV Insights - Viewership retention breakdown for Jimmy Kimmel

2018 Midterms: Geographic analysis

Samba TV analyzed which DMAs within the Top-25 had the highest and lowest viewership for each cable news network on election night.

  • Not surprisingly, our analysis uncovered similarities in geographic trends between CNN and MSNBC which had strong viewership on both coasts.
  • Particularly in Washington DC – the country’s political epicenter – both networks far exceeded the US average while Fox News was 17% below the US average.
  • Fox News struggled on the West Coast but had strong viewer engagement in southern DMAs, which also aligns with the 2016 presidential election results.  
2018 NHL Playoffs viewership by playoff round

2018 NHL Playoffs viewership by playoff round

2018 NHL Playoffs viewership by playoff round

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