Fox News Ratings Drop to Third Place Saturday Following No. 1 Election Day Coverage

November 10, 2020 Updated: November 10, 2020

Fox News has fallen to No. 3 in ratings and is being bested by MSNBC and CNN in news coverage following Election Day, coming after the network was No. 1 on Election Night.

Fox News placed third on Saturday with 1.73 million viewers, CNN came in the top spot with 4.2 million viewers, and MSNBC came in second place with 3 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden claimed victory on Saturday and said he would try to be a unifier.

The Epoch Times has not called the race in favor of either Biden or President Donald Trump due to legal challenges and other factors that have yet to be determined. A number of news outlets on Saturday also declared the race for Biden.

During Election Night on Nov. 3, Fox News easily led in ratings, beating both CNN and MSNBC.

Fox’s Election Day coverage had 14.1 million viewers during prime time on Nov. 3, far ahead of CNN with 9.4 million viewers and MSNBC, which had 7.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Fox News trailed CNN and was neck-in-neck with MSNBC on Thursday night, according to Nielsen. On Wednesday, the day after Election day, CNN beat Fox News by about 800,000 viewers.

The apparent rating decline could be due to how the network called the race on Election Night. Fox News was one of the first news outlets to call Arizona for Biden despite hundreds of thousands of outstanding ballots still being counted.

Votes are still being counted and legal challenges have been filed in Arizona. CNN and NBC have still not called the race in Arizona. The Associated Press followed Fox, declaring the race for Biden several hours later.

Fox News has not responded to a request for comment nor has issued a public statement on its ratings.

President Trump’s allies and supporters have signaled their disapproval with Fox News in recent days.

The Arizona Republican Party last week called on Fox News and Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh called on Fox News and AP to rescind their call for Biden. “Fox & AP made a hasty call in AZ, a state the President will still win,” Murtaugh said on Nov. 5.

Poll aggregator Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight also said AP and Fox News made their calls too early. “I don’t know, I guess I’d say that Biden will win Arizona if you forced me to pick, but I sure as heck don’t think the state should have been called by anyone, and I think the calls that were previously made should be retracted now,” Silver wrote last week.

Epoch Times Photo
Supporters of President Donald Trump demonstrate at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department office in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 7, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

And on Monday, Fox News host Neil Cavuto cut coverage of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference regarding legal challenges and allegations surrounding voter fraud.

“Woah, woah, woah, I just think we have to be very clear. She’s charging the other side is welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this,” he said. The move also drew condemnation from conservatives on social media.

But before that, Fox News increasingly has faced backlash from both Republicans and Trump. During the first debate between Biden and Trump, the president offered critical words to Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who moderated the debate, saying he was debating against both Wallace and Biden. Trump also accused Fox of running “suppression polls” during the campaign that showed Trump losing to Biden by a significant margin.