CNN's Democratic Debate Ratings Improve in Night 2

The second face-off of presidential hopefuls improves by double digits over Tuesday's telecast.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The second half of CNN's Democratic primary debate scored better ratings than the first, rising by double digits in the early numbers.

Wednesday's coverage drew 10.72 million viewers on CNN and CNN en Español, about 2 million more than watched Tuesday's telecast (8.69 million). That's an improvement of 23 percent night to night. Live streaming averaged an additional 576,000 viewers.

In preliminary numbers, the debate averaged a combined 8.7 household rating in metered markets on CNN and CNN International, up about 19 percent from a preliminary 7.3 for Tuesday's telecast. Each night featured 10 candidates in the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls.

The audience for Wednesday's telecast is CNN's second-biggest audience ever for Democratic primary debate, behind the first such forum of the 2016 cycle in October 2015 (15.46 million). Tuesday's broadcast held the No. 2 spot for about 24 hours.

Wednesday's coverage averaged a little more than 3 million viewers in the key news demographic of adults 25-54, up from 2.53 million Tuesday.

The first round of Democratic debates, which aired on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo in late June averaged 15.26 million and 18.1 million viewers — the latter a record high for the party in the primaries. The NBC portion of the second June debate delivered 10.58 million viewers.

Both CNN debates are above the average for the Democratic primary in 2015-16. The nine primary debates of that campaign season averaged just under 8 million viewers each.