Tucker Carlson, the popular Fox News host, was recently recognized as having the highest-rated program in cable news history. With Carlson’s audience booming – so is talk that the tv personality will parlay his TV perch into a run for president in 2024.
Carlson closed out television’s second quarter as the highest-rated program in all of cable news for the first time since the show’s launch, delivering an average total audience of 4.331 million viewers. In the process, Carlson broke a record held by his colleague, Sean Hannity, for the highest-rated quarter of any cable news program—ever, according to Forbes.
With COVID-19 forcing the American public to remain in their homes, it was expected that television viewership would skyrocket. Not only did Fox News record a sold quarter, but also beat out all basic cable networks among total viewers and viewers 25-54, the demographic group most valued by national advertisers.
(Photo/Los Angeles Times)
Tucker’s favorability among conservative views and voter has republican strategists, conservative commentators, and former Trump campaign and administration officials believing Carlson could be the next-generation leader of President Trump’s movement.
While nearly every Republican eyeing a 2024 presidential run is professing loyalty to Trump, Carlson has become perhaps the highest-profile proponent of the President, his administration, and America First agenda.
In addition to holding the most watched cable news program in history, Carlson’s segments on Fox New’s Youtube Channel from the past quarter have drawn well over 60 million views and are among the most popular videos in the eight years since the network began posting on the platform, according to Politico.
“Let me put it this way: If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee,” said Sam Nunberg, a former top political aide to Trump who knows Carlson. But Nunberg said he doesn’t believe Carlson will run because “he’s so disgusted with politicians.”
Carlson has never run for office and has been hesitant of doing so in the past. In 2012, Nunberg said Republican operative Roger Stone unsuccessfully pushed Carlson to run on the Libertarian ticket. Stone told POLITICO in an email that “[i]t is not inconceivable that I may have raised it in jest or in passing as repartee, but have no memory of that.”
“The moment Trump leaves, they will attack him,” he said. “They’ll tell you that ‘Republicans lost power because they were mean and intolerant just like Donald Trump.’ … It’s a lie.” It is just one of many statements from the past month that have propelled Carlson to new popularity among the GOP base. As Republicans across the country and in Congress have expressed newfound openness to reforming the police and taking down Confederate monuments in the wake of protests, Carlson has denounced the Black Lives Matter movement and derided Republicans who have gone along with it.
Carlson has emerged from the backlash apparently unchastened.
A Republican strategist close to the White House added: “If you are a Republican politician and you want to know where Republican voters are, all you have to do is watch Tucker Carlson every night.”