CNN saw a significant increase in cable TV ratings Wednesday during the second night of Democratic debates, but still fell well short of the first round of Democratic debates that took place earlier this year.
The second night of debates averaged an 8.7 rating, according to Nielsen, a roughly 20% increase from Tuesday night’s debate. (RELATED: ‘Dead As A Door Nail’: Trump Taunts CNN, MSNBC Over Low Ratings)
The first night of CNN’s debate coverage drew just 8.2 million viewers, far below the 15.3 million viewers MSNBC drew for the first night of the first round of Democratic debates last month. Wednesday night’s debate will likely end up with roughly 10 million viewers, which is still well short of the roughly 18 million viewers who tuned into MSNBC for the second night of the first round of Democrat debates.
The first Democratic debate on CNN in 2015 drew 15 million viewers, while the first Republican primary debate in 2015 drew a record 24 million viewers on Fox News Channel.
Wednesday night’s debates was highlighted by repeated attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden, who has consistently polled as the front-runner since launching his campaign in April. Biden was attacked for his positions on health care, criminal justice, and foreign policy, among other issues.
The attacks on Biden also brought former President Barack Obama’s record under scrutiny, with candidates and protesters attacking the Obama administration’s deportation policy. The Obama administration deported a record number of illegal immigrants during the 2012 fiscal year.
The third round of Democratic debates will take place Sept. 12-13 in Houston, Texas.