Romney’s TV Audience Rises 40% From Ryan’s Earlier Total

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, officially kicking off his campaign as his party’s standard bearer, attracted about 30.3 million viewers to his acceptance speech last night on national television.

Romney, whose speech closed the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, drew about 40 percent more viewers than his vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, Nielsen said today in a statement.

The Republican nominee sought to identify with the dreams and disappointments of U.S. voters amid high unemployment, presenting himself as a unifying figure with the expertise to create jobs and heal partisan rifts. He tailored part of his speech to win the votes of women with stories of how his mother and wife had shaped his life, saying their struggles were often harder than those faced by men and that he would be a president who “understands what they do.”

In 2008, more than 38.9 million watched the comparable closing night of the Republican convention, when John McCain accepted his party’s nomination, Nielsen said. That was also more than the total who tuned in for Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, Nielsen said.

Democrats hold their convention next week starting Sept. 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

News Corp.’s Fox News again led last night’s coverage, with 9.06 million viewers between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. New York time, when Romney gave his speech, according to the website TV By The Numbers. Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ABC was second with 4.44 million, the website said.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBC was third with 3.85 million. CBS Corp. (CBS)’s broadcast network registered 3.73 million viewers, while Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s CNN had 2.33 million and Comcast’s MSNBC attracted 1.88 million, according to the website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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