Donald Trump giving his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention. (Screen shot via YouTube)

While many American viewers may have tuned in to both the Republican and the Democratic national conventions, the numbers show a clear winner: The Democratic convention topped the ratings its first three nights. However, Donald Trump’s acceptance speech edged out Hillary Clinton’s by 1.6 million viewers.

“I didn’t produce the show,” Trump said of the Republican convention. “I just showed up for the final speech on Thursday.” Before the events, he had boasted that “no one would watch” the Democratic convention. He also declared that he would increase the production value of the Republican convention. “It’s very important to put some showbiz into a convention, otherwise people are going to fall asleep,” he said.

By the time the GOP convention ended, Trump seemed confident about its success:

But his campaign seemed to panic by Thursday, sending an email to supporters urging them to not tune in to Clinton’s acceptance speech:

“Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don’t watch Hillary’s DNC speech tonight. Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks.

But Trump himself was tweeting throughout the convention speeches Thursday night, and he blamed the media for a difference in coverage:

Ben Kamisar of The Hill writes that many critics “reviewed the Democratic National Convention as more tightly scripted than the GOP’s,” which may have helped in its success.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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