Ratings drop to 55M for final Trump-Biden debate

More than 55 million viewers tuned in for the second and final presidential debate between President TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFederal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Biden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure Jill Biden gives shout out to Champ, Major on National Pet Day MORE on Thursday night, according to overnight ratings data by Nielsen Media Research.

The 55 million watching the comparatively civil event in Nashville marked a considerable decline from the first debate between the two last month, when more than 73 million tuned in.

Fox News led all broadcast and cable networks with 14.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen.


ABC finished second with 10.8 million total viewers, followed by NBC with 10.2 million. CNN was fourth with 7.2 million viewers, followed by MSNBC's 6.7 million and CBS's 5.5 million. 

In the 25- to 54-year-old demographic sought by advertisers, Fox News delivered 4.2 million viewers, followed by NBC with 3.9 million. ABC was fourth with 3.85 million, followed by CNN's 2.85 million and MSNBC's 1.5 million. 

For context, the final 2016 debate between Donald Trump and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClose the avenues of foreign meddling Pelosi planned on retiring until Trump won election: report Pence autobiography coming from Simon & Schuster MORE drew 73.2 million viewers. 

In 2012, the third debate between then-President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTwo sheriff's deputies shot by gunman in Utah Romney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS On management of Utah public lands, Biden should pursue an accountable legislative process MORE drew 59.2 million viewers. 

Biden leads Trump in the RealClearPolitics index of polls in key states Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona by 3.8 percent. 

On this day in 2016, Clinton led Trump by the same amount, 3.8 percent, in the same battleground states before going on to lose the election. Biden, however, has a larger lead than Clinton held in national polls, as well as a substantial funding advantage over Trump.