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Fox News a Double Winner in Presidential Debate

The network draws more than 5 million viewers for the debate, far surpassing the ratings of the previous two GOP contests

Not only was Fox News perceived as the big winner of Thursday's Republican presidential debate for posing hard-hitting questions, but the network scored big ratings as well.

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The debate, which aired from 9 to 11 p.m. ET and was staged in Ames, Iowa, drew 5.053 million total viewers, including 1.43 million in the coveted adults 25-54 demo.

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Those numbers surpass both those of Fox's prior GOP debate in May and CNN's GOP debate from June by a large margin. The more than 5 million total viewers that tuned in constitute 55 percent more than watched Fox's last debate and 60 percent more than CNN's. In the demo, the differences are 67 precent and 56 percent, respectively. 

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If one chooses to use Fox's normal ratings as a point of comparison, the ratings jump is even more substantial — with triple-digit increases in both total viewers and the demo.