According to Nielsen Ratings, 20.6 million viewers tuned into the 10 p.m. hour to watch Ann Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speak at the Republican National Convention -- numbers that were slightly down from the previous two conventions but with Hurricane Isaac making landfall during the first night, convention organizers can declare it a success.
Audience interest peaked during Christie's keynote address -- Fox News alone had 7.2 million total viewers during the peak.
Fox News walked away from the first night with a ratings win over broadcast and cable ratings. The network had 6.9 million viewers during the 10-11 p.m time slot. NBC was the next most competitive network with 4.8 million in the same time slot. Fox News had almost four times as many viewers as the next cable network for the 8-11 p.m. period.
Regardless, high convention ratings is no guarantee of electoral success. Before 2008's ratings win for the Republicans, helped by interest in Sarah Palin, Gerald Ford was the last Republican nominee who attracted a bigger audience than the Democrats did.
Ann Romney and Christie came close to matching the 2008 numbers, but Paul Ryan has a high bar to do the same tonight: 37.2 million viewers tuned into watch Palin's debut.
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