10.7 Million Viewers Tune Into Second Night of CNN Dem Debates, Up 24% Over First Night
The second night of CNN’s Democratic primary debates pulled in two million more viewers than night one, which featured Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, making this the second most-watched Democratic primary debate in the network’s history.
According to Nielsen, Wednesday night’s event totaled 10.722 million viewers and 3.031 million in the key 25-54 demographic. The debate, which included frontrunner Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, also drew 3.1 million livestream starts for CNN Digital.
While the event didn’t draw the overall numbers of the first primary debates last month, it should also be noted that those two nights of debates aired on broadcast network NBC, as well as MSNBC and Telemundo. In comparison with night two of June’s debates, CNN outdrew NBC head-to-head, as the Peacock Network averaged 10.580 million total viewers.
On Tuesday night, CNN drew 8.7 million viewers overall and 2.5 million in the key demo. Much like the previous month, night two was seen as the main event, drawing significantly more eyeballs. In this case, the bump was 24 percent.
Overall in the 8-11 PM primetime hours on Wednesday, CNN rode the debates to a massive audience and the highest in cable news since the 2016 election. The channel averaged 9.867 million total viewers and 2.769 million in the demo.
The debate was moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Don Lemon and chief Washington correspondent Dana Bash. Besides Biden and Harris, the debate field included Sen. Michael Bennet, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Gov. Jay Inslee and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.