Second Presidential Debate Draws 65.6 Million Viewers, Down 1.6 Million From First Debate

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV,Cable TV

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October 17th, 2012

via nielsenwire.

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 chart below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks.

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.

2012 Networks Included:

2008 Networks Included:
Debate 1– ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telefutura, Telemundo, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC
Debate 2 – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC

  • David

    Thought it would be down more, but it’s good to see that people are at least tuning in (regardless of who they are voting for).

  • USAmerica1st

    Most people have made up their minds, the debates are strictly for entertainment style points and bragging rights now for many. Some have already voted. I certainly didn’t watch, I was watching a Last Resort DVR run instead.


    Glad more people are seeing the story unfold about the Libya. Obama and his administration completely cover up the true story. The white house & Obama knew the attack on the embassy was a terrorist attack, but they instead sent people on Talk Shows calling it a reaction to the anti-Muslim video. Also Obama did NOT say the attack on lybia was a terrorist attack in the Rose Garden. It took Obamas administration 2 WEEKS to label the attack a terrorist attack.

  • Nikita > Arrow

  • Badlands

    TVMAN, are you for real? There is video showing Obama calling it an act of terror. Millions saw it on live TV. Trying to make the Libya attack a political issue is despicable. Any administration can only go by the intelligence they are given and there was mixed information (read yesterday’s NYT). Trying to make it into a scandal is a sign of desperation, not to mention poor character.

  • rob


    President Obama on Sept. 12 from the Rose Garden:
    “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

    Looks like he called it an act of terror to me…

  • suzie

    Just ignore the brainwashed idiot.

  • suzie

    oops i meant @ rob

  • AppleStinx

    Mostly I wanted to check Al Gore’s theory, that the level of Obama’s stupor in the first debate was altitude-induced. He went from Denver’s mile-high to Hofstra U’s 70ft. Obama was indeed more agitated last night.

  • VisionMixer

    TVMAN obviously watched the debate on Fox “News.”

  • Sia



    If you actually read the paragraph you’d see he never said the attack was a terrorist attack. “no acts of terror will ever shake..” is not saying the attack was a terrorist attack. In interviews afterward he didn’t call it a terrorist attack. In one interview he mentions the anti-Muslim video 6 TIMES. White House officals saw the attack in real time. They knew damn right that this all couldn’t have been due to a video. But they totally mislead the public from the beginning. I don’t want to make the Libya deaths a national issue more than anyone else. But this has shown the obvious flaws of the Obama administration. Having the US ambassador and Obama officals go on press conferences and talk shows for a week saying it was all because of a video is outrageous. And this should be a national issue due to the lies that were said. Calling me brain washed isn’t going to help your case either.

  • The End

    One thing you’l have to remember is, some news networks are biased towards a certain party, such as Fox and the Republicans. Some may paint a different picture to try and make something seem better, or worse than what it actually is.

    Obama clearly won the debate last night. Gave my thoughts on the Tuesday ratings thread on the debate in detail on one of the back pages. I don’t feel like copy pasting because it doesn’t seem right.

  • Mark2

    And he actually had the nerve to say the following: “I’m a strong believer in stating your position and not wavering.” LOL

    He was for the Stimulus before he was against it.
    He was for universal healthcare before he was against it.
    He was against the auto bailout before trying to take credit for their rescue.
    He was for a woman’s right to choose before he was against it.
    He said he never had the desire to serve in Vietnam before saying he longed to be there.
    He was for minimum wage before he was against it.
    He was against returning to the Reagan-Bush era before saying he was for it.
    He was for Stem-Cell research before he was against it.
    He said he didn’t care about the 47% before saying he cared about the 100%.
    He was for the assault rifle ban before saying he was against it.
    He was against signing the Tax pledge before being the first to sign it.
    He said he saw his father march with MLK before admitting he never saw it.
    He was ok with hiring illegals to cut his lawn before he was against it.
    He said he was a big game hunter before he said he wasn’t.
    He said corporations were people before saying they weren’t.
    He was against Obamacare before saying he liked the main parts of it before saying he was against it again.
    He was for a path to citizenship before being against it, before being for it again.
    He was for the TARP before he was against it.
    He was for Roe v Wade before he was against it.
    He was against people going to the Emergency Room before he was all for it.
    He was for Gays being able to serve openly before he was against it.
    He believed in climate changed before he didn’t.
    He said he didn’t ‘line up” with the NRA before saying he was a member.
    He said he owned a gun before admitting it was one of his sons.
    He was against the Bush Tax cuts before he supported them.

    I’m sorry but I just don’t trust Romney.

  • USAmerica1st

    The important point about the embassy attack is completing the investigation, identifying the terrorists, and bringing them to justice. Not who said what first.

  • Dan S

    Gov. Romney reminds me of a slick salesman who will say & do anything to close the deal. I’ll sooner go with the incumbent since I have no idea what I’d be getting with a Pres. Romney.

  • Ralph Hahn

    Candy Crowley, the crack moderator from CNN, admitted today that she erred by saying Obama was correct. Now, she says, Romney was telling the truth.

    Sometimes you may have to actually watch yourSELF on tape to find out what you said or didn’t say.


    The Obama administration has also spent $70,000 on TV ads in the middle east apologizing for the video that caused them p be upset. Unbelievable. Also the University of Colorado has predicted the Presidential race for the past 30 years. Who have they predicted to win this year? Romney.

  • SherLOCKED

    TVMAN is correct.

    The “act of terrorism” line was in the CONTEXT of 9/11, not the Benghazi attack.

    Read the whole speech here is you want:

  • SherLOCKED

    Also, even if you want to say that the rose garden speech is ‘unclear’ to which thing he is referring to. I would suggest you look at countless interviews and news reports where it is ALWAYS blamed on the video.

    The talk radio stations I was listening to were saying it was a pre-planned attack just DAYS after it happened. It took the media/government TWO-THREE WEEKS to finally get the truth out!

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