GOPers Beat Obama in TV Ratings: Helped by Timing and NFL

If TV ratings for political convention speeches is any indicator, voter turnout in November should be sky-high.

The GOP presidential nominee John McCain had a viewership last Thursday night of 39 million, edging Democratic counterpart Obama (38.4 million), and McCain’s suddenly famous running mate, Sarah Palin (37.2 million).

McCain, not known for his dynamic speech giving, may owe a debt to an old Washington institution, the Washington Redskins. The “skins were playing the Super Bowl champs New York Giants last Thursday in the NFL season opener, which gave McCain a perfect lead-in to boost his audience.

The football telecast averaged 13.6 million viewers between 8-10 PM, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Obama, whose speech in a football stadium was much hyped, gave his Thursday night speech in the week leading into Labor Day weekend, traditionally a week in which many take vacation so they can take advantage of the extra day off from work.

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