The contentious debate Saturday night among Republican presidential candidates, broadcast by CBS, delivered an audience of 13.51 million total viewers, the Los Angeles Times reports, citing Nielsen data. It was the ninth GOP debate of the cycle, and the highest-rated debate since CNBC’s telecast on Oct. 28, which delivered 14 million.
“The audience topped the 13.18 million viewers who watched the Feb. 6 debate on ABC, which was also a raucous affair,” the Times reports. “But political commentators were comparing the lack of civility in Saturday’s contentious meeting of the six remaining GOP candidates in Greenville, S.C., to a steel-cage wrestling match.”
Interest in Saturday’s event appears to have received a bump from news earlier in the day of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, with the opening on the high court being a topic of discussion during the debate.