Trump-Clinton debate gets record ratings

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More than 80 million people viewed Monday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, making it the most watched debate ever, according to Nielsen research.

The previous record was the only debate between Republican Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter in 1980, which drew 80 million in an era with far fewer channels and no internet. In 2012, the first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012 drew 67 million viewers.

{mosads}The 80 million number doesn’t include numerous streaming options made available.

The population of the United States is also much bigger than it was in 1980, which puts the Reagan-Carter debate in a different context.

In 1980, the population was 225 million, while today’s U.S. population is 320 million.
Some analysts were expecting as many as 100 million viewers to tune in for the Clinton-Trump showdown. The debate drew fewer viewers than the Super Bowl, which in recent years has attracted more than 100 million viewers.

The debate easily beat Monday Night Football on ESPN, which is generally the top-rated program on Monday nights.

The Falcons-Saints matchup from New Orleans generated a 5.7 overnight rating, which will likely make it the least-watched Monday night game in the franchise’s 46-year history. 

The next president debate will be a town hall setting from St. Louis on Sunday, Oct. 9. Moderators will be ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. 
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