Final Debate Is Third Most-Watched Presidential Match Ever

Republican U.S. presidential nominee and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speak at the same time as they discuss an issue during their third and final 2016 presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S ., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/ Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTX2PLZM

The final faceoff between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reached 71.6 million viewers, meaning two of the three most-watched presidential debates in history resulted during this campaign.

The debate from Las Vegas, moderated by Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, surpassed the 66.5 million people who watched the second debate. The first time these two candidates gratified on stage in September, the audience of 84 million set a viewership record, the Nielsen company said.

The 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, the only period they met that fall, was watched by 80.6 million people. That was the only previous debate to compare to this year’s matchups in popularity.

By contrast, both of the debates that Clinton’s husband Bill had while running for re-election in 1996 against Bob Dole reached a little over 36 million people.

NBC may have been responsible for Wednesday’s debate passing the one moderated by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz in popularity. The network didn’t broadcast the second debate, depicting an NFL football game instead, but was back this time.

Wednesday’s third debate had a subdued, substantive start with more fireworks as the evening went on. TiVo reported that the moment Donald Trump “was talkin about a” how “nobody has more respect for women than I do” and Wallace had to shush some audience members from giggling was when more viewers stopped and rewound to take a second look than any other.

During the debate, the Republican candidate was mentioned in 3.9 million tweets, while his Democratic rival was mentioned in 1.9 million, Nielsen said.

With Wallace as the sole moderator, Fox News Channel resulted all networks with 11.3 million viewers during the debate. ABC had 11 million, NBC had 10.4 million, CBS had 10.1 million, CNN had 8.7 million, Fox broadcasting had 6.6 million and MSNBC had 5.5 million, Nielsen said.

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