CNN announced Wednesday that 15.3 million people watched the first Democratic debate Tuesday evening, breaking the cable network's previous viewership record. Of that total, 4.8 million people were between the ages of 25 and 54, the highest viewership ever for a Democratic debate in that age group.
Another 980,000 tuned into live streams of the debate on CNN's website, mobile apps and Apple TV at the peak of the debate, setting another record. At the last CNN GOP debate at the Reagan Library, the peak concurrent streams topped out at 921,000.
The highest-rated Democratic presidential primary debate before last night's was ABC News' 2008 debate in Philadelphia on April 16, 2008, which drew 10.7 million viewers. On cable, it was CNN's 2008 debate in Los Angeles on January 31, 2008, which got 8.3 million viewers.
The numbers still pale in comparison to the Republican debates. Twenty-four million people tuned into Fox News see the first Republican debate in Cleveland, and another 22.9 million watched CNN's Republican debate in Simi Valley, California.
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