TV ratings: Dems bring 8.5M in broadcast's first debate

Michael O'Connell
Terror, National Security Take Center Stage at Democratic Presidential Debate
Terror, National Security Take Center Stage at Democratic Presidential Debate

Forced to shift at least some of its focus in the wake of Friday's devastating terrorist attacks in Paris, the second debate between the Democratic presidential candidates otherwise went ahead as scheduled on CBS.

The first debate, for either party, to take place on a broadcast network, it was also the first to not get a prime weeknight showcase -- instead airing on Saturday night. Per early ratings, the two-hour affair between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley brought 8.5 million viewers.

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That's six debates down for the preliminary festivities to the 2016 election. Saturday followed 24 million, 23 million, 14 million and 13 million hauls for the GOP and one 15-million audience for the Dems.

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It also came just a week after MSNBC's pseudo-debate, the Democratic Forum. That raked in a little more than 2 million viewers to the cable news net. (Clearly, the candidates need to be on the same stage at the same time to draw a substantial crowd.)

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