Table: 2020 Presidential Election Night Television Ratings

An estimated 56.9 million people tuned in to watch coverage of the 2020 U.S. presidential election during primetime on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, according to Nielsen.

The news networks included in the data are: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, TEL, UNI, ESTRELLA, NBCLX, PBS, BET, BET HER, CNBC, CNN, CNNe, Fox Business Network, FOXNC, MSNBC, Newsmax, Newsy, VICE and WGNA.

You were more likely to have tuned in if you were a Baby Boomer. Only 7.6 million Millennials tuned in.

These numbers compare poorly to 2016, when 71.4 million Americans watched the returns. Many more Millennials and Gen Xers and just barely more Boomers tuned into the election night coverage four years ago than they did this year.

So what gives?

Trump fatigue? 2020 fatigue? Poll-driven overconfidence by Democrats? Did people who mailed in their ballot tune out after having done their civic duty?

With all the cautioning by media beforehand, did citizens not expect a winner to be called on election night, so why tune in?

The data does not give us a clue but I’d love to see insights on this.

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