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Biden draws higher ratings than Trump in dueling town halls

Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump went head-to-head Thursday night with dueling town halls. More Americans watched Biden on ABC than Trump on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC combined, according to Nielsen. 

Biden's town hall brought in 14.14 million viewers on ABC, while Mr. Trump, who is known for bragging about his high television ratings, brought in a total of about 13.46 million across the three networks. 

"Turns out more people last night were interested in watching a leader with a clear plan to get this pandemic under control and Americans back to work, than the same combative, chaotic liar whose incompetence got us into this mess — regardless of how many channels he was on," Biden's national press secretary TJ Ducklo tweeted on Friday.

ABC said in a statement that it was the network's most-viewed primetime broadcast since The Oscars eight months ago. It also said that the broadcast outperformed its September town hall with Mr. Trump by triple digits. 

Both town halls drew in significantly fewer viewers than the first debate, which brought in a whopping 73 million viewers, according to Nielsen. 

The Nielsen data includes out-of-home viewing and television streaming but does not include social media live streams. Live streams do not measure views in the same way and can be watched after the event is already over, unlike broadcast. 

Biden brought in 3.27 million views on ABC News' YouTube and 2.3 million views on the channel's Facebook page. Mr. Trump brought in about 2.2 million views on NBC News' YouTube, about 2 million views on CNBC's YouTube and about 913,000 on NBC News' Facebook page.

The two town halls replaced a joint second presidential debate, which was canceled after Mr. Trump refused to participate virtually. The two candidates are scheduled to debate in Nashville, Tennessee, for the final time on Thursday, October 22.

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