Presidential Debate: Worst, Most Childish Debate in American History

First Presidential Debate–Massive Political Debacle

Donald Trump And Joe Biden - First Presidential debate

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The first presidential debate of 2020, which was widely panned by observers, is on track to draw smaller audience than the record-setting first debate four years ago.Four years ago, the big four networks tallied 45.3 million viewers in the preliminary ratings, rising to 49.33 million after time zone adjustments for the live broadcast.Tuesday’s ratings will adjust upward by a decent amount in the final ratings, which will include zone adjustments and out of home viewing (the latter wasn’t part of Nielsen’s count in 2016). Cable news channels and other outlets will also add millions to the total, but it’s exceedingly unlikely that this debate will come close to the first face-off four years ago. (This story will be updated as more numbers come in.)

The first presidential debate of 2016 drew 84.4 million viewers across 13 networks, the biggest audience in the 60-year history of televised debates.

In 2012, 67.2 million watched the opening debate.

The 2008 figure was 52.4 million.

Tuesday’s telecast is likely to end up in between the 2008 and 2012 numbers.