Cruz-Sanders debate tops cable news ratings in younger demographic

Cruz-Sanders debate tops cable news ratings in younger demographic
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A CNN town hall debate between Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersStudy: Test detects signs of dementia at least six months earlier than standard method The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Omicron tests vaccines; Bob Dole dies at 98 Democrats see Christmas goal slipping away MORE (I-Vt.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' Bob Dole: heroic, prickly and effective Democrats see Christmas goal slipping away MORE (R-Texas) provided a ratings win for the network in a key demographic Tuesday night, according to Nielsen data.

"Sanders vs. Cruz: The Future of ObamaCare" gave CNN its first weekday prime-time victory of the year in the 25-54 demographic advertisers most covet, registering 932,000 viewers to Fox News's 720,000. The special ran from 9 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Fox still had the most total viewers at that time, with 3.391 million to CNN's 2.464 million. MSNBC finished third, with 1.945 million total viewers.

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The event from Washington, D.C., was moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash and was CNN’s fourth town hall this year. Others have featured solo appearances by House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 No time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE (R-Wis.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sanders.  

A similar town-hall event hosted by former Obama administration official and CNN contributor Van Jones featuring HBO’s "Real Time" host Bill Maher will air live from Los Angeles on Thursday night.

CNN’s 2017 town halls have rated higher than the usual programming offered in prime time, but the Sanders-Cruz showdown was the first to top Fox in the key demographic.

Sanders and Cruz, who ran in the 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, respectively, debated the future of the Affordable Care Act as Republicans in Congress craft a plan to repeal and replace former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Biden, bruised by Afghanistan, faces a critical test in Ukraine Is the US capable of thinking strategically? Juan Williams: GOP infighting is a gift for Democrats MORE's signature healthcare law.