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Deadline, TVWeek, Nielsen

Debate Falls Short of Record Set by First Clinton-Trump Clash

Oct 10, 2016  •  Post A Comment

After the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump set the all-time record for viewership for a debate, Sunday’s second showdown between the two candidates came up well short of that mark.

Deadline.com reports that Sunday’s event pulled in about 63 million viewers, based on preliminary Nielsen figures, nowhere near the 84 million who showed up for the first debate.

The debate also fell short of the most-watched second debate in a presidential election cycle, behind the Oct. 15, 1992, debate featuring George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. That one delivered 69 million viewers.

The total for Sunday’s debate tallies viewers on CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and PBS. Deadline notes that NBC carried an NFL game and did not air the debate.

CNN did especially well Sunday, notching its best presidential debate ratings ever, both in total viewers and in the news demo of viewers 25-54.

“That includes a cable-dominating 11.227 million viewers — a 13% jump compared to Debate 1,” Deadline notes. “CNN’s 4.824 million viewers aged 25-54 outperformed Fox News and MSNBC combined.  The cable news network gave ABC a run for its money in total viewers (11.512 million) and bested ABC in the news demo (4.641 million).”

One Comment

  1. CNN is the network preferred by independents. Since the other two have chosen a camp. This may indicate that there are still a lot of undecided voters

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