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Palin Speech Scores Big Ratings

(ST. PAUL) Sarah Palin was unknown to the public just a week ago, but it's going to be hard to say that about her anymore. The ratings from her speech at the Republican National Convention are in, and it's now clear just how all the buzz about her translated big time into viewership for the Republican convention.

According to Nielsen, 37.2 million people watched the speech on six networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC). That is just 1.1 million less than watched Obama's speech last Thursday night. Compare that to the estimated 24 million who watched Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden's speech last Wednesday night. You can also compare that to the about 34 million who watched the opening of the Beijing Olympics last month, 32 million who watched this year's Oscars and 31.7 million who watched last spring's American Idol finale.

According to Nielsen, Palin also attracted 19.5 million women, which is 4.9 million more than watched Biden. And 1.4 million Hispanic viewers watched, which is more than the 1.2 million who watched day 3 of the Democratic convention, even though Univision and Telemundo did not carry Palin's speech last night. In fact, it's also of note that Palin's speech was carried by four less networks than Obama's speech (BET and TV One also showed Obama).

Palin has certainly gotten people's attention now. Now the question is whether that will translate into votes for the Republican ticket.