First night of CNN Democratic debate draws 8.7M viewers

CNN's broadcast of the Democratic debates on Tuesday night attracted 8.7 million viewers, according to final ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research.

Another 2.8 million people watched via the CNN Digital live stream, according to CNN.

The first of two debates from Detroit was watched by approximately 7 million fewer people than the June 26 debate broadcast by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, which attracted 15.3 million viewers for the broadcast from Miami.

The cable news network faced formidable competition from ABC's "The Bachelorette," which aired its finale on Tuesday night. NBC also offered up a new episode of "America's Got Talent," which has rated well over the years since its start in 2006.


CNN will likely see an uptick in viewership on Wednesday night, which was the case with NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo last month for its second of two debates.

Wednesday night's event from the Fox Theatre in the Motor City will feature 2020 Democratic front-runner Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE in an anticipated rematch with Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThere's still time to put Kamala Harris front and center Hillicon Valley: Biden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked | Majority of voters in three swing states saw ads on social media questioning election validity: poll | Harris more often the target of online misinformation The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pollsters stir debate over Trump numbers MORE (D-Calif.), who hammered Biden in Miami one month ago, winning praise from critics as the winner of the night.

But Biden still holds a commanding lead in the RealClearPolitics index of polls with 32.2 percent support.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTlaib, Ocasio-Cortez offer bill to create national public banking system Cutting defense spending by 10 percent would debilitate America's military The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Election night could be a bit messy MORE (I-Vt.) is second with 16.2 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren has expressed interest in being Biden's Treasury secretary: report The Democrats' 50 state strategy never reached rural America What a Biden administration should look like MORE (D-Mass.) with 14.3 percent. Harris is fourth with 11 percent support.

--This report was updated at 2:20 p.m.