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Ratings: CNN Republican Debate Beats Fox News’ in Key Demo

The House That Ted Built takes the night’s top numbers, and edges out Fox News’ May face-off between the GOP challengers among adults 25-54

There's no arguing the point: Monday night's debate among the Republican presidential aspirants was very good for CNN.

The cable outlet announced Tuesday that its face-off between Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and their fellow political competitors from 8 to 10 p.m. ET put the network in the top ratings slot for cable news Tuesday night.

Also read: Michele Bachmann Uses CNN GOP Debate to Announce Presidential Candidacy

According to Nielsen Fast National Data, the debate, which was moderated by CNN's chief national correspondent John King, drew 3.1 million total viewers, including 918,000 total viewers in the key news demo of adults 25-54.

For its May 5 GOP debate, Fox News averaged 854,000 25-54-year-olds. The comparison is a bit apples-and-oranges, however, as Fox News' debate was populated by a smaller, less developed pool of candidates. Fox did, in fact, beat out CNN in total viewers, scoring 3.2 million total viewers compared to CNN's 3.1 million.

Monday night's Republican face-off also performed dramatically better than CNN's first GOP debate in the last presidential election cycle, which took place on June 5, 2008, increasing 54 percent in total viewers and 23 percent in the demo.

For the night, CNN's numbers also put it ahead of both Fox News Channel, which averaged 1.9 million total viewers over the same 8-10 p.m. time period and 473,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demo. MSNBC was a distant third for the evening, with an average of 814,000 viewers from 8-10 and 205,000 in the adults 25-54 demographic.