Wednesday night’s Democratic debate drew 6.6 million viewers. The televised debate also garnered 1.3 million online streams. Airing from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., the debate nearly tripled MSNBC’s usual audience during that time slot. Unfortunately, the nearly seven million viewer audience was a 20% drop from the last debate. Furthermore, it is the smallest audience for any Democratic presidential debate during this election cycle. With that being said, it’s not uncommon for ratings to drop as the election cycle runs dry.
During the 2016 election cycle, ratings dropped from the first debate to the fifth debate. The first debate in October 2015 drew 15 million viewers on CNN. However, the fifth debate brought 4.5 million viewers to MSNBC. Comparatively speaking, interest in the televised debates is up from 2016.
In related news, public impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill are also drawing in large audiences. The first day of hearings brought 13.1 million viewers. Through five days, the hearings have brought in 12 million viewers on average. Those numbers are comparable to ESPN’s Monday Night Football which brought in 12.7 million viewers this week.
The next Democratic presidential debate will take place on December 19th in Los Angeles. PBS and Politico will sponsor the debate. CNN will also run a simulcast of the debate.