One of the most televised events on American television is the presidential debate. Of course, nobody can beat Superbowl numbers when it comes to viewership, but what debates came the closest?

According to a study by Statista, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton take two of the top five most viewed presidential debates in history.


This one made history in 1992 when America saw three candidates debate for presidency on one stage for the first time. Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot duked it out with nearly 70 million pairs of eyes on them.


Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton's first run for POTUS, each, in 2016 attracted just shy of 72 million viewers.


This stat refers to the 2020 election cycle, when Donald Trump just finished his term as POTUS. I don't know if you knew, but there was a lot of drama that happened in 2020... Over 73 million viewers tuned in to this broadcast for this new Biden guy running for Commander-in-Chief.


October 28th, 1980 was ground-breaking in presidential debate viewership with Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan. A whopping 80 million TV sets tuned in to watch. This is especially impressive when you consider there were no streaming services or smart phones back then, so every one of those people sat in front of a television set for the entirety of the debate.


Same year, same wild viewership numbers. This was the previous debate between newcomers Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Taking the cake with an overall viewership of 84 million, this debate was truly one for the history books in America.


If you're curious, this year's first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on June 27th saw roughly 48 million viewers. Pfft, rookie numbers...

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Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

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