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TV Ratings: Fourth Democratic Debate Draws 8.3 Million Viewers

Last night’s Democratic debate, which saw frontrunner Elizabeth Warren come under attack from all sides, drew around 8.3 million total viewers on CNN.

That viewership figure is down 46% on the first NBC debate which was watched by 15.3 million viewers, and also on the two previous CNN debates which garnered 10.7 million (down 22%) and 9 million (down 8%) respectively. None of the Democratic debates so far in this cycle have come near to the 24 million viewership figure posted by Donald Trump’s first debate on Fox News in August of 2015. According to CNN, 9.2 million viewers live streamed the debate in total on both the network’s and NY Times’ digital platforms.

Warren was joined on stage last night by fellow frontrunners Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden, as well as nine other potential Democratic candidates: New Jersey senator Cory Booker, mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg, former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro, California senator Kamala Harris, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, businessman Tom Steyer, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Tuesday’s debate tackled issues such as foreign policy, reproductive rights, health care, gun control, big tech, and the opioid crisis. However, the seriousness of the debate was seemingly marred by a final question inspired by Ellen DeGeneres’ controversial friendship with former President George W. Bush, which asked them to tell viewers “about a friendship that you’ve had that would surprise us, and what impact it’s had on you and your beliefs.”

The debate was co-hosted by CNN and the New York Times, took place at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, and was moderated by CNN anchors Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper, along with New York Times national editor Marc Lacey.

The next debate will be co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, and will take place in Georgia on Nov. 20, airing on MSNBC and streaming on MSNBC.com and the Washington Post’s website.

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