An evening of fierce exchanges with former vice-president Joe Biden helped raise the ratings of the second round of CNN’s democratic primary debate on Wednesday.
According to Nielsen, the two-hour event of Fox Theater in Detroit gave an average rating of 8.7 on CNN and its sister channel CNN International, an increase of 19% compared to Round 1 on Tuesday.
When the national audience number is released later Thursday, it should easily outpace the audience of 8.7 million viewers for Tuesday’s debate.
Although the final number is likely to be around 10 million viewers, slightly below CNN’s expectations, the public is still well above that of most primary debate events that took place in presidential cycles before the 2016 campaign.
The public interest in the 2020 presidential campaign and who will challenge President Trump remains high, according to many surveys.
Biden, who is in charge of the polls, was the main target of the nine other candidates on the podium, who set his record on immigration, criminal justice reform and climate change. California Senator Kamala Harris was also attacked because of her record as an attorney general.
Their rivals on stage were Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, Senator Michael Bennet from Colorado, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio, rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Washington Government Jay Inslee.