Huge audience of 65.6 million watched second presidential debate

Voters remain plugged into election via television

  • President Barack Obama (L) speaks as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) and moderator Candy Crowley (C) listen during a town hall style debate at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York. During the second of three presidential debates, the candidates fielded questions from audience members on a wide variety of issues.
President Barack Obama (L) speaks as Republican presidential… ((Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty…)
October 17, 2012|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun

Nearly 66 million voters watched Tuesday's town hall debate between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

While that audience is slightly down from the 67.2 million who saw the first debate, it is still a huge TV gathering -- up by 2.4 million viewers from the second debate in 2008 when Obama drew rock-star ratings every time he appeared on TV.

The third and final debate will be held Monday with Bob Scieffer, of CBS News, as moderator.

Here's the release from Nielsen:

An estimated 65.6 million people tuned in to watch the second debate between incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday, October 16.

The town hall-style debate, hosted by Hofstra University in New York and moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley, was carried across 12 networks.

While coverage varied by network, 10 networks aired live coverage from approximately 9:00PM to 10:45PM while Univision and Telemundo aired coverage on tape delay.

The second presidential debate, and third overall, in this political season’s debate quartet netted 2.4 million more viewers than the second presidential debate between then Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain in 2008.


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