Republicans narrowly top Democrats in second-night convention TV audience

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(Reuters) - An estimated 19.4 million people watched the second night of the mostly virtual Republican National Convention on Tuesday, according to Nielsen, slightly more than the 19.2 million viewers for the second night of last week’s Democratic convention.

The RNC number reflects the audience across 11 TV networks between 10 p.m and 11:15 p.m. EDT. It does not include online and streaming viewers. The first night of the RNC attracted 17 million viewers across 11 TV networks, a 26% decline from the same night in 2016.

Ratings for the second night of the virtual Democratic National Convention reflected viewers across 10 U.S. TV networks on Aug. 18. The DNC also experienced a drop in viewers from 2016.

The RNC number included viewers on Newsmax, which attracts a conservative audience, while the DNC figure did not.

Fox News had the biggest TV audience for both nights of this week’s convention.

The second night of the RNC featured speeches by first lady Melania Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two of President Donald Trump’s children, Tiffany and Eric Trump, and anti-abortion advocate Abby Johnson.

In pre-recorded segments, Trump used the White House as a venue to promote his bid for re-election in November, signing a pardon for a Black ex-offender who has become an advocate for other inmates and presiding over a naturalization ceremony in which five immigrants were granted citizenship.

Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Peter Cooney