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VP Debate Had Lowest Viewership Since 2000

Just 10 donors have given 20 percent of money raised by super PACs this cycle.

Ally Mutnick
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Ally Mutnick
Oct. 6, 2016, 9:37 a.m.

“Last night’s vice pres­id­en­tial de­bate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine had few­er TV view­ers than any VP de­bate since 2000,” ac­cord­ing to Nielsen data from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox that showed 36 mil­lion view­ers tuned in. “For com­par­is­on, the 2012 VP de­bate between Joe Biden and Paul Ry­an av­er­aged over 51 mil­lion view­ers. The 2008 de­bate between Biden and Sarah Pal­in set a high wa­ter­mark for view­er­ship with 70 mil­lion, while the 2004 de­bate between Dick Cheney and John Ed­wards av­er­aged just un­der 44 mil­lion view­ers.” (Politico)

DE­BATE PREP. A town-hall style de­bate could pose chal­lenges for Don­ald Trump if he can’t res­ist be­ing baited in­to harsh per­son­al at­tacks. “Half the ques­tions will come from an audi­ence of un­de­cided voters, se­lec­ted to be there by the Gal­lup Or­gan­iz­a­tion … set­tling scores may be ex­actly the wrong ap­proach in a town-hall de­bate, where the can­did­ates will be re­spond­ing to the spe­cif­ic con­cerns of in­di­vidu­al Amer­ic­ans, and where voters will be study­ing the can­did­ates for their abil­ity to re­late to those con­cerns.”

Still, “Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign has been care­ful about man­aging ex­pect­a­tions for Sunday’s de­bate. ‘She does great in these formats and we ex­pect she will do well here too, but it’s not a bad format for Trump,’ said Clin­ton com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or Jen­nifer Palmieri.” (Wash­ing­ton Post)

SHOW ME THE MONEY. “Su­per PACs seek­ing to in­flu­ence the 2016 elec­tions have col­lec­ted more than $1 bil­lion, a re­cord haul driv­en by jumbo-sized con­tri­bu­tions from rich donors on both sides of the aisle.”

“Just 10 mega-donor in­di­vidu­als and couples con­trib­uted nearly 20 per­cent of the $1.1 bil­lion raised by su­per PACs by the end of Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post ana­lys­is of fed­er­al cam­paign fin­ance re­ports.” The break­down of those donors is split fairly evenly — four Demo­crats, five Re­pub­lic­ans and one In­de­pend­ent. Also not­able: the “total ex­ceeds the $853 mil­lion that su­per PACs col­lec­ted in the en­tire 2012 cycle.” (Wash­ing­ton Post)

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