Fox News Channel was the ratings leader for Tuesday night’s big developments in the Republican presidential primary race, which included Donald Trump’s decisive victory in Indiana and the decision by Ted Cruz to suspend his campaign run.
In a reversal of recent election-night results that saw CNN finish on top in the key news demo of adults 25-54, FNC won last night during primetime by a rather comfortable 18% margin (1.058 million to 896,000), according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen. MSNBC remained a distant third (413,000).
And Fox won big in total viewers, with its tune-in (4.273 million) more than the combined totals of CNN (2.622 million) and MSNBC (1.555 million). This was the largest audience for a night of election coverage on any network since FNC’s coverage of Super Tuesday II on March 15. FNC even beat out sister broadcast network Fox (1.9 million) as well as ABC (2.9 million).
Specifically in the 9 p.m. ET hour, in which the now-presumptive GOP nominee Trump declared victory from New York, Fox News Channel rose to 5.25 million viewers (1.297 million adults 25-54), followed by CNN (3.318 million, including 1.155 million adults 25-54) and MSNBC (1.797 million, including 504,000 adults 25-54).
Fox also won the extended 6-11 p.m. ET window, averaging 3.7 million viewers and more than 820,000 in the demo with “America’s Election Headquarters,” co-anchored by Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, along with the network’s regular primetime lineup of “The O’Reilly Factor,” “The Kelly File” and “Hannity.”
After it was clear that Trump had prevailed rather easily in Indiana, Cruz conceded that his path to the White House “has been foreclosed,” adding that “we left it all on the field in Indiana.”