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DEC
11
3 YEARS

ABC News' GOP Debate Most-Watched of Season So Far

Saturday's telecast averaged 7.6 million total viewers.

Republican Debate ABC News December 11 - H 2011
Getty Images

ABC News said Sunday that its live coverage of Saturday's Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, was the most-watched GOP debate of the 2012 campaign so far.

The Your Voice, Your Vote special, moderated by ABC News' Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, averaged 7.6 million total viewers from 9-11 p.m. ET, according to Nielsen’s true fast national ratings. That makes it the most-watched program of the night among viewers.

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ABC News also touted the fact that it stands as the most-watched GOP presidential debate of the 2012 campaign so far, passing Fox News' Sept. 22 special (6.1 million viewers) and CBS News' Nov. 12 telecast (5.5 million).

The debate, which was sponsored by ABC News and Yahoo, also gave the network its best performance in the time slot with nonsports programming in more than seven months.

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Six candidates took part in the debate: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

ABC News hosts another debate from 9-11 p.m. ET on Jan. 7.