In the first election year benchmark--the GOP has come out on top.
The Republican convention was the most-watched convention on television ever, beating a standard set by the Democrats just one week earlier. An average of 34.5 million viewers watched the GOP convention over three days while the Democrats had an average audience of 30.2 million over four days.
A record 40 million Americans watched the speeches of each of the party standard-bearers, Barak Obama and John McCain. Meanwhile, the Republican vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, drew an astonishingly high number of viewers as well--her speech was watched by more people than the American Idol finale, the Academy Awards, or the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics this year.