Skip to Content

Viewership Soars on Second Night of CNN Democratic Debate

The second night of CNN’s Democratic primary debate drew 10.7 million viewers, a 24% jump over Tuesday’s event as more people tuned in as front-runner Joe Biden tried to fend off attacks from lower-polling rivals.

The audience for Wednesday’s forum in Detroit marked CNN’s second-biggest for a Democratic debate, behind an October 2015 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, according to the network.

Still, the political brawl Wednesday among Biden, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro and other 2020 presidential hopefuls fell short of the record 18.1 million viewers who watched the June 27 Democratic debate on NBCUniversal’s NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo networks.

The June audience topped the previous highest-rated Democratic presidential primary debate in 2015 by 2.6 million total viewers, but is eclipsed by the first Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle, when 24 million viewers tuned in to Fox News to watch Donald Trump spar with moderator Megyn Kelly.