More than 63 million people tuned in to watch the second and final presidential debate Thursday, a significant drop from the over 73 million who tuned in for the first debate, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The decline in viewership could be due to the fact that many Americans have already made up their minds on their candidate of choice as more than 52.7 million people have already cast their votes, according to the U.S. Election Project.

The U.S. has already recorded over 38 percent of the total ballots returned during the 2016 race, with the election still 11 days out.

A reduction in viewership for the final debate is not an unusual trend, though the drop in viewership from the last presidential cycle is significant.

President Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had 71.6 million viewers tune into their final debate – an increase from the previous presidential debate between President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s 67 million. 

The third and final debate during the 2008 presidential race between Obama and former Sen. John McCain only saw 56 million viewers.

Fox News saw the highest rating Thursday night with preliminary numbers showing 14.7 million viewers tuning in. ABC finished second with 10.8 million viewers, followed by NBC with 10.2 million. CNN finished fourth with 7.2 million viewers, MSNBC had 6.7 million people tune in and CBS finished bottom with 5.5 million viewers for the debate, reported The Hill Friday.

The final debate drew significantly more viewership than the dueling town halls the candidates held in lieu of the previously planned second presidential debate in mid-October.


Biden drew 14.1 million viewers during his town hall hosted by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, in comparison to Trump’s town hall hosted by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, which brought in 13.5 million viewers.

Biden currently is leading in the polls over Trump by 7.9 percent, though he is only projected to be leading in battleground states by 3.8 percent – a figure well within the margin of error.

Source: FoxNews

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