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Geez, did we all watch those conventions! McCain, Palin, Obama and the Delaware guy

September 19, 2008 |  9:04 pm

The folks over at Nielsen's who watch people watching television have gone through their numbers again for the last week of August and first week of September.

And for an allegedly politically inattentive people, we sure watched a ton of convention coverage of the current presidential election.

In fact, most of the households in America watched, according to Nielsen.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin

"Nearly two thirds of all U.S. households (64.5% or 73.2 million homes) tuned in to at least one of the 2008 political conventions,'' Nielsen reports today.

"This is about 120.1 million people. Viewership levels for the two conventions were essentially tied, with about half of all households watching each one.''

Nielsen also uncovered some revealing details about the convention audiences:

  • Fifteen percent of all households tuned to just the Republican National Convention, and 15.7% tuned to just the Democratic National Convention. Another 33.9% of all households tuned to both conventions.
  • Homes that watched both conventions were more likely to be headed by someone 65 or older. They had also completed the most formal education: nearly one-third (32.3%) graduated from college. Those watching only one convention were fairly comparable on education.
  • Homes that only tuned to the GOP convention were more likely to have higher incomes ($100K+), to have a larger household size (4+), to be white, to own a DVR, and to have a head of household with higher education (4+ years of college) and aged 35-54.
  • Homes that only tuned in to the Democratic convention were more likely to have a lower income (<20K), to have a smaller household size (2), to be African American, and to have a head of household who is younger (<35) and who has less education (1-3 years of college).
  • About one-fifth (21.2%) of the Democratic convention-only homes were headed by an African American. Of the Republican convention-only homes, 83.5% were headed by someone who is white.
  • Of African American homes, 35.7% tuned in to both conventions, more than each of the other ethnic groups.

The ubiquitous Mark Silva has some more details over at the Swamp.

— Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Associated Press

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