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Pence-Harris debate draws more than 50M viewers, up 26 percent from 2016

Pence-Harris debate draws more than 50M viewers, up 26 percent from 2016
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Wednesday night's debate between Vice President Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden teams to meet with Trump administration agencies Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members Ossoff, Warnock to knock on doors in runoff campaigns MORE drew 50.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, marking a 26 percent increase from the 2016 debate between Pence and Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Grassley tests positive for coronavirus MORE (D-Va.). 

Fox News topped the seven major broadcast and cable networks with 11.315 million total viewers. ABC was second with 9.405 million, followed by CNN's 7.31 million and MSNBC's 6.67 million.

NBC was fifth with 6.55 million, while CBS attracted 5.18 million viewers and Fox-TV registered 4.1 million.

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Four years ago, the debate between Pence and Kaine drew 37.2 million viewers. In 2012, the showdown between then-Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful' MORE and Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) delivered 50.2 million viewers.

The most-viewed vice presidential debate of all time occurred in 2008 when Biden debated then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) before more than 69 million viewers. 

Last week's chaotic debate between President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE and Biden, now the Democratic presidential nominee, scored more than 73 million viewers, which marked one of the most-watched in history but still 11 million viewers short of the 84 million who turned in to see Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntercept DC bureau chief says Biden picks are 'same people' from Obama years The Hill's 12:30 Report - Third vaccine candidate with 90% efficacy Biden won — so why did Trump's popularity hit its highest point ever? MORE and Donald Trump battle for the first time in September 2016.