An estimated 7.86 million viewers watched Friday night’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, a slight boost from last month’s event and still down from earlier in the cycle.
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Last month, CNN drew 7.36 million viewers for its debate from Des Moines.
The debate numbers are still a big drop from those held earlier in the cycle. The first Democratic debate, held in June, drew 15.3 million viewers on the first night and 18.1 million viewers on its second night. That event was sponsored by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo. The second debate, sponsored by CNN in July, drew 8.2 million viewers on the first night and 10.1 million viewers on the next night.
The debate numbers are looked upon as a gauge of interest in the election, although that can vary based on timing. Friday nights are traditionally a lower viewership night.
In 2016, 4.5 million viewers tuned into the Democrats’ New Hampshire debate, sponsored by MSNBC, and 13.2 million watched the Republican debate before that state’s primary, an event broadcast by ABC News.
ABC said that the debate was watched by 3.2 million streaming viewers. The network’s September Democratic debate, sponsored along with Univision, drew an estimated 14 million TV viewers.
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