Clinton-Trump Debate Was Most-Watched Ever

More than 80M people watched Monday's showdown
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2016 3:43 PM CDT
Clinton-Trump Debate Breaks Decades-Old Record
TV screens show the live broadcast of Monday's presidential debate in Seoul, South Korea.   (Hong Hae-in/Yonhap via AP)

It's official: America loves the odd-couple pairing of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. CNN reports Monday's first presidential debate between the two was the most-watched showdown in six decades of televised presidential debates. Initial Nielsen numbers show it averaging 80.9 million viewers with little drop-off in viewership as it went on. However, these early numbers don't include people watching on C-SPAN, PBS, or online. More than 2.5 million people streamed the debate on YouTube alone. When the final numbers are in, the Clinton-Trump debate should easily beat the 81 million people who watched the 1980 Carter-Reagan debate. But Entertainment Weekly points out it's unlikely to reach Super Bowl-level popularity, which would require 100 million or so viewers. (Read more presidential debate stories.)

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