Contact Us

More Than 67 Million People Watched the First Presidential Debate

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

More than 67 million people tuned in and saw Mitt Romney dominate President Obama in the first Presidential Debate. According to the Washington Post, more people tuned in to watch the first Romney/Obama debate than the first McCain/Obama debate in 2008 which had a little over 52 million viewers.

That 67 million, however, falls very short of the Mother of All Presidential Debates: the Oct. 28, 1980 smackdown between President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, which had drawn a whopping 81 million viewers.

About 12 million of the 67 mil who watched President Obama square off with GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney at the University of Denver were aged 18-34 years. Nearly 31 million of them were 55 years or older, Nielsen reported Thursday.

The debate was carried live across 11 networks; Telemundo aired it on tape delay.

In a tight race at the top, ABC appears to have, once again, snagged the most viewers to the first presidential debate of this election cycle — like it did four years ago. About 11.25 million people watched Romney vow to axe Big Bird, on ABC.

That’s up a tick from four years ago when 11 million people watched Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama in their first face-off, which had also been moderated by PBS’s Jim Lehrer. Lehrer got better reviews in ’08.

This time, ABC was closely followed by NBC, with about 11.1 million viewers – up a lot from its 7.1 million of four years ago.

CBS snagged 10.6 million viewers, compared to 08’s 7.6 million.

Fox News Channel averaged 10.436 million viewers — also a big improvement over 08’s 8.2 million.

CNN clocked around 6.1 million viewers — a 1 million viewer drop from ’08, but still strong enough to beat MSNBC’s average audience of 4.7 million.

MSNBC, however, showed growth, having averaged 3.9 million for the first debate of ’08. But not as much growth as Fox broadcast network, which is not known for carrying news programming of any kind.

Fox broadcast network also carried the debate Wednesday night, anchored by Shep Smith, who had also anchored its debate coverage in ’08.

This time, Fox broadcast network scored nearly 7 million viewers – nearly 3 million viewers better than four years back.

Good to see more people tuning in to the debate. I just wonder what the numbers will look like for debates two and three going forward. Will more people tune in because of the buzz this debate created? It’s possible and I hope so. People should watch these debates and hear from the candidates.

Did you watch Wednesday night’s debate?

More From KFYO

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kfyo.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on News/Talk 790 KFYO quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on News/Talk 790 KFYO quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!