The final Democratic debate before the Iowa caucus drew more viewers for CNN than the previous two sparring sessions.
Tuesday night’s debate scored 7.3 million viewers for CNN. In the key adults 25-54 demo, 2.1 million tuned in, while the debate peaked with just under 8 million total viewers on TV from 9:30-9:45 p.m. That viewership number narrowly tops the last PBS and Politico debate which drew 6 million total viewers, and the MSNBC debate before that which drew 6.5 million.
None of the Democratic debates thus 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. The most watched debate from this cycle to date was the very first on NBC which drew 15.3 million total viewers, while the Democratic debate record to beat is the 15.7 million who tuned in for the CNN debate from the 2016 election cycle between Bernie Sanders and eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
The debate was co-hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register. Following Sen. Cory Booker’s exit, the candidates who took to the stage were former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Tom Steyer.
Last night’s debate was moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Abby Phillip, and Brianne Pfannenstiel. CNN’s live stream of the debate saw 4.0 million live starts across all off CNN’s platforms.