MSNBC Tops Georgia Senate Runoff Coverage

Raphael Warnock
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Raphael Warnock

The Georgia Senate runoff elections brought strong ratings to cable news on Tuesday, with MSNBC drawing the biggest audience.

CNN, Fox News and MSNBC averaged a combined 12.53 million viewers from 8 p.m. to midnight ET. MSNBC had the largest share of that audience with 4.65 million viewers. Only CBS, which averaged 4.68 million viewers in primetime, had a bigger audience from 8 to 11 p.m.

Fox News drew 4.09 million viewers from 8 p.m. to midnight, and CNN averaged 3.79 million. Democrats Raphael Warnock — who was declared the winner of his race late Tuesday night — and Jon Ossoff, who was declared Wednesday morning, won the runoffs to give the Senate a Democratic majority following the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (who as vice president will be president of the Senate) on Jan. 20.

CNN scored highest in the core news demographic of adults 25-54 with a 1.16 rating, the equivalent of about 1.4 million viewers in that age range MSNBC (0.99/1.2 million) finished second, ahead of the 0.72/871,000 for Fox News. CNN also led among adults 18-49 with a 0.87 rating (1.13 million people) to 0.7/906,000 for MSNBC and 0.45/582,000 for Fox News.

ABC was the only broadcast network to dedicate any of its primetime to coverage of the runoff. A half-hour special report at 10:30 p.m. drew 2.06 million viewers and a 0.57/689,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.