CNN's Republican Debate Draws 5.5 Million Viewers

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Hosted by Anderson Cooper, the Las Vegas debate is the second most-watched of the season.

CNN's Republican debate held in Las Vegas' The Venetian Resort Hotel and moderated by network anchor Anderson Cooper delivered in the ratings on Tuesday.

According to fast nationals, the debate drew 5.5 million total viewers from roughly 8-10 p.m. -- though the actual event took place from 8-9:52 p.m. The debate, which featured presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, is so far the second-highest debate this season in total viewers. Fox News Channel's Sept. 22 debate was the only one that drew more viewers, averaging 6.1 million.

Because of the strength of the Republican debate, CNN was the No. 1 network during the two-hour tiem period among cable news networks, handily topping nearest competitor Fox News Channel in the 25-54 demo (1.7 million vs. 493,000) in addition to total viewers (5.5 million vs. 2.1 million).

When compared to CNN's debate held in Tampa on Sept. 12, last night's was up 51 percent in total viewers and 46 percent in 25-54.

At 10 p.m., Anderson Cooper 360 delivered 2.2 million viewers and 735,000 in 25-54, outperforming other cable news networks in both categories.

On the digital side, CNN reports that the Las Vegas debate had more than 601,000 live video streams during the 8-10 p.m. hours, a 35 percent improvement from Tampa.