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Fox News led presidential debate ratings in battleground markets, according to ComScore.

Election Night Campaign Battleground: Will Fox News Win the Media Advertising Race? 

Published on November 3, 2020

In one of the most polarized elections in history, the battle for values messaging could be winner take all.

Fox News and local broadcast affiliates have been election news channels of choice, according to the latest report from ComScore. The findings surprised even us, all politics aside. TV advertising buys are based largely on demographics. For marketers trying to connect with consumers’ values, though, the 2020 election has been a plebiscite on psychographics.

Television Draws Values Viewers

Fox News garnered the greatest audience during presidential debates, followed by broadcast network affiliates. Fox News drew Republican voters and many independents. While election coverage viewership was more diffuse among Democrats, they also tuned in local media affiliates in high numbers.

Comscore expected this trend to continue on Election Night as regional media outlets provide timely local results. Nielsen overnight ratings showed Fox News as the national winner on election night with 13.6 million viewers.

The findings have marketing implications beyond the election. Our research in The Purpose Report 2020 found GOP voters aligned on causes including family values, immigration control, national defense and traditional marriage. With Republican-leaning voters clustered around Fox News, ads could target a conservative values audience directly. Messaging Democratic-leaning voters was more challenging.