There are 25 candidates and counting who are running in the Democratic primary. Ten of them participated in the country’s first 2020 presidential debate. Too bad the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Tom Perez did not think to put name placards on the podiums. People came away with fairly mixed views on how the candidates did, but the television rating numbers told the real story.
Was it possible that viewers skipped watching the first debate, because more of the political heavy-weights were randomly drawn for the second debate on the following night? According to NBC-MSNBC-Telemundo, the decently sized audience was not as large as the 2016 political debate.
The network showed on its metered NBC market, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
‘(The debate) Drew a 7.0 household rating in metered markets on NBC. That could translate to 10 million viewers or so in the final ratings — Tuesday’s America’s Got Talent drew a 6.9 in metered markets and finished at 10.13 million viewers.’
MSNBC’s simulcast pulled in a 4.7 in its metered market. Telemundo showed the debate with a 0,6 ranking. The three-in-one-network will release more complete numbers later in the day.
These numbers translated into 7.36 million viewers on NBC and 796,000 viewers on Telemundo. The tri-network experts anticipated that these numbers will adjust upward, because the fast nationals (snapshots) were not the same as the actual live broadcast numbers.
The Wednesday night candidates were all Democrats and included:
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ohio Representative Tim Ryan, former Maryland Representative John Delaney, and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard.
Thursday night candidates were all Democrats, too, with one exception. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is an independent, but he was running as a Democrat. They included:
Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Senator Kamala Harris, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, California Representative Eric Swalwell, author Marianne Williamson, and businessman Andrew Yang.
In comparison, the Republican debate drew a huge audience, 24 million viewers in 2016. Fox News hosted the Republicans’ debate. It might have been more for its entertainment value than informational, which could explain the ratings’ difference.
The Democrats held their first primary debate In October 2015. CNN hosted it with 15.8 million viewers. At that time, more people watched the first debate than any of the others.
In 2016, the primary debates brought in larger viewers than the past two election cycles. The biggest primary debate audience in 2012 was 7.6 million for Republicans. That event was held on ABC in the last month of 2011. In 2008, the greatest audience was in April, 10.7 million viewers on ABC.
Fox News brought in an audience of 3.53 million in 2012. Four years earlier on MSNBC, the first debate came out at 2.26 million viewers.
Not only did the MSNBC-NBC-Telemundo trifecta bring in an audience, NBC’s Tonight Show, and CBS’ Late Night aired it live as well as CNN.
The top CBS show following the debate was CBS’ Big Brother with 4.53 viewers among adults aged 18- to 49-years-old. It ranked at a 1.1. The show premiered with 4.93 million viewers and a slightly larger rating at 1.3.
Featured image is a screenshot via Youtube.