I think this verifies with some pretty substantial numbers that there just isn’t the same excitement for Paul Ryan as there was in 2008 for Governor Palin. Via Mediabistro (emphasis):
On night two of the Republican National Convention, Fox News Channel was once again the network more people went to to get their political fix. That said, every network was down substantially from the same night in 2008, when Sarah Palin made her RNC debut…
Every other network was down. Every network was also down from 2008, with FNC down 1.5 viewers, NBC down 3.5 million viewers, CNN down nearly five million viewers, ABC down three million viewers, CBS down two million viewers and MSNBC down about two million viewers. It is worth noting that night two of the RNC in 2008 saw a speech delivered by Palin, who at the time was still a relative unknown.
All told, just over 20 million people were watching last night on the Nielsen-rated networks, compared to 37 million for night two of the RNC in 2008. Night one of the 2012 RNC was roughly on par with night one of the 2008 RNC ratings-wise, making the gap all the more dramatic.
This is just speculation on my part, but maybe it wouldn’t have been as bad for Fox had they not benched Governor Palin for their night two coverage. Just sayin.
You can read all the numbers here.
Update by Doug: Minus Palin, Convention’s TV Ratings Plunge
Updated by Steve:
The Washington Post reports the difference: Without Sarah Palin. a ratings dive
CBS also reports: Paul Ryan Not Nearly the TV Draw Sarah Palin Was