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4th October
written by Sean Noble

The first Presidential debate of the 2012 campaign was critically important to the tone and trajectory of the campaign.  Mitt Romney was the clear winner, and given the viewership of the debate, it couldn’t have been more important.  As Politico reports:

An estimated 67.2 million people watched the presidential debate last night, according to Nielsen.

The total viewership, which includes 12 networks, was a 28 percent increase over the first presidential debate in 2008 between then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, which drew 52.4 million viewers. 63.2 million watched Obama and McCain’s second debate; 56.5 million watched their third.

The rating includes total viewers for ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, PBS, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CurrentTV and CNBC between 9 p.m and 10:30 p.m. ET, and for Telemundo’s airing on tape-delay. It does not include online viewership.

The highest-rated presidential debate in U.S. history was a 1980 debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, which had 80.6 million viewers.

This puts significant pressure on Joe Biden to salvage the Obama campaign and the President’s weak performance last night.

If Romney was in need of something that changed the dynamic of the race, he delivered in spades last night.


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