GOP debates drew more viewers

Tuesday night’s presidential debate on CNN was the highest-rated ever for Democrats, even while attracting a smaller TV audience than two Republican contests.

The debate averaged 15 million total viewers, CNN said Wednesday. The Sept. 16 Republican debate on CNN drew about 23 million viewers, the most ever for an event aired by the network. An Aug. 6 Republican contest on Fox attracted even more, a record of 24 million.

The previous Democratic debate record was set in 2008 when Clinton and President Obama went head-to-head on ABC. That one had almost 11 million viewers.

Last month’s Republican candidate showdown was pumped up by billionaire Donald Trump and his controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants and women. CNN’s Tuesday telecast did manage to score a larger online audience, however. As many as 980,000 people live-streamed the event, CNN said. The GOP debate in September drew 921,000 concurrent online viewers.

It’s not surprising that the Democratic debate attracted a bigger Internet audience, since young people are more apt to lean Democrat and stream video content over the Web, said CNN.

Bloomberg News