Politicians often masquerade as something other than politicians. Sometimes this masquerade includes the title of actors. Not the type of actors that star in movies. But when appearing on national television, it is to political candidates’ advantage to talk to the American people, to try to connect to them, and to answer questions with courage and honesty.
Republican candidates are having a hard time doing this. In the wake of one of the worst debates in modern political history, where the subject of abortion didn’t even come up until more than half the debate was over, the news that followed is certainly not surprising.
The ratings have come in for this Republican debacle. And the American people sent the GOP a clear message. That message is you suck. The Republican debate garnered a whopping 7.5 million viewers. These are horrible numbers. Also, these numbers INCLUDE all streaming and digital platforms. Pretty rotten news, wouldn’t you say?
The ratings for republican debates are showing a clear trend. Anytime they HAVE a debate, the ratings are a bit lower than the debate before. The second debate garnered nine million watchers — still not a great number. The FIRST debate had 13 million viewers — see the trend?
The American people are clearly sending a message here. And it’s not just the candidates. NBC is to blame as well. Had I not been watching this debate to report on it, I’d have likely turned off after the first hour, maybe sooner.
And I did watch, in real time peoples’ reactions. A heck of a lot of people DID turn it off — after five minutes or ten or fifteen. The debate simply was not ensnaring people. Audiences are smarter than candidates, and networks often give them credit for. People tune in, wanting clear answers. What they DON’T want is whitewashing. What they DO NOT wish to see is a hysterical Vivek calling everybody names right and left.
What they DO NOT want and likely despise are certain apparent questions that SHOULD be asked, receiving either little mention or no mention. This SHOULD be a lesson for both NBC AND the candidates. The show must go on, yes. But the show can only go on successfully if the cast members do their damn jobs and connect with the audience.
If they choose NOT TO do that, one cannot blame the audience for walking out of the show. It’s really very simple. Unfortunately, these people rarely learn anything. I don’t expect this time to be the exception.