Last night’s vice presidential debate drew 69.9 million viewers, shattering the record for such an event, Broadcasting & Cable reports. The 1984 encounter between VP candidates Geraldine Ferraro and George H.W. Bush drew 56.9 million; the record for a campaign debate is 80.6 million for the 1980 showdown between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
The debate attracted 45% of households in top US markets, a far larger proportion than viewed the first presidential debate, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. Baltimore led the nation’s major markets with almost 60% of households watching. The so-called overnight number of 45 dwarfs the 31.6 preliminary number for the first presidential debate—but that one fell on a Friday.