CNN drew 8.3 million viewers last night for 2019’s fourth Democratic Debate. That’s the lowest tally thus far in the race leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
To be fair to the cable news channel, two of the other three rounds were presented at least partially on broadcast television, which is available in many more homes than cable is.
This is CNN’s second debate of the ongoing cycle — its first one took place over two nights at the end of July. Night 1 of July’s two-parter got 8.7 million total viewers, 8.6 million of which came on actual CNN. Spanish-language sister channel CNN en Español added the other small portion back then. Last night, baseball aired on CNN en Español instead.
July’s second night fared a bit better in Nielsen numbers.
In the key adults 25-54 demographic, CNN got 2.4 million viewers on Tuesday. That’s also a low thus far in this cycle — that first night in July got 2.5 million viewers in the news demo.
The most-recent Democratic Debate aired on ABC and Univision, across which it summed 14 million total viewers. An NBCUniversal simulcast enjoyed the very first turn of the cycle — and its largest audience to-date.
The CNN and New York Times debate had 9.2 million live-stream starts last night across multiple digital platforms, including Facebook.
So online, CNN’s second debate got a fair bit of play, but the president — who wasn’t even there — got more.
A review of Twitter data from previous debates shows that President Donald Trump has consistently been the most tweeted-about American politician during democratic debates, which remained true Tuesday. There were some much-tweeted non-Trump moments, though, like when candidate Julian Castro said, “Police violence is also gun violence.”
As for the candidates on the stage, former vice president Joe Biden was most tweeted-about, followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren. That echoes recent polling that shows the two of them at the top of the Democratic field.