CNN town hall with Howard Schultz finishes 3rd in ratings race

CNN's town hall Tuesday night with former Starbucks CEO and possible independent presidential candidate Howard Schultz finished third in the cable news ratings race, according to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research.

Both Fox News and MSNBC drew more viewers.

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Laura Ingraham's "The Ingraham Angle" won the time slot with 2.47 million total viewers, while MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell drew 2.21 million. CNN attracted 1.04 million viewers during the time slot.

In the 25-54 age group sought out by advertisers, Ingraham's show had 464,000 viewers, compared to "The Last Word" on MSNBC with 366,000 viewers. CNN's town hall finished third with 351,000.

The event with Schultz sparked criticism, primarily from the left, with many questioning why CNN would provide the billionaire a national stage that's typically reserved for declared candidates.

Schultz, 65, stepped down as Starbucks CEO in June. He began publicly mulling a presidential run as a self-described "centrist independent" last month.

The possibility of him jumping into the race has drawn the ire of Democrats, who are concerned he could ultimately hurt their eventual nominee in swing states, essentially helping Trump win reelection.