Pence-Harris Matchup Draws 58 Million TV Viewers

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An estimated 57.9 million viewers watched Wednesday night time’s matchup of Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, the second largest whole ever for a vice-presidential debate, in response to Nielsen.

The viewers for the roughly 90-minute occasion was a lot bigger than the one for the 2016 vice-presidential debate between Mr. Pence and Senator Tim Kaine, which drew 37 million tv viewers.

The variety of viewers for vice-presidential contests normally lags far behind the viewers for presidential showdowns — although there have been notable exceptions. In 2008, almost 70 million witnessed Sarah Palin’s debate-stage debut towards Joseph R. Biden Jr. And 56.7 million watched the 1984 contest between George H.W. Bush and Geraldine Ferraro, the primary time a girl had taken the vice-presidential debate stage.

With Wednesday’s numbers within the Nielsen books, the highest three most-watched vice-presidential debates have featured feminine candidates.

A dizzying information cycle was the backdrop for the talk on Wednesday, as cable information networks had been devoting hours of protection to the coronavirus sweeping by way of the White House and President Trump’s three-night keep on the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Live protection of Mr. Trump’s temporary flights aboard the Marine One helicopter to and from the hospital, in addition to associated panel discussions, might have elevated curiosity within the vice-presidential debate.

Because of the White House outbreak, plexiglass dividers had been put in on the University of Utah debate stage between Mr. Pence and Ms. Harris. Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief, was the moderator because the operating mates of two septuagenarian presidential candidates clashed over the Trump administration’s dealing with of the virus, which has killed greater than 212,000 Americans.

Fox News had probably the most viewers of any tv outlet for the talk, with greater than 11 million individuals tuning in. ABC, the one broadcast community that devoted an hour of protection to the occasion earlier than the talk, was second highest, with roughly 9.four million viewers. The occasion was carried by 18 broadcast and cable networks.

Nielsen’s rely contains those that watched or streamed the talk on TV screens. People who watched solely on a digital machine should not a part of its tally, and there’s no agency that credibly measures the total digital viewers.

The presidential debate between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden final week garnered 73.1 million TV viewers, a few 13 % decline versus the primary presidential contest in 2016.

Future debates between the 2 candidates are up within the air. After the Commission on Presidential Debates introduced on Thursday that the matchup scheduled for Oct. 15 can be carried out just about, Mr. Trump mentioned he wouldn’t take part.

ABC News subsequently introduced that it might air a prime-time city corridor with Mr. Biden on the night time of the scheduled debate (with the Democratic nominee providing the caveat that he would participate within the deliberate Oct. 15 occasion if his opponent modified his thoughts).

What was presupposed to have been the third and ultimate debate between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville.

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