Prior to the latest GOP debate, CNN’s most watched presidential debate was a Demoratic one in 2008. It had an average of 8.3 million viewers.
This Wednesday’s GOP debate averaged 22.9 million viewers, making it the most watched program in CNN’s history.
In addition to television watchers, CNN’s online live stream averaged about 1 millions viewers, easily making it the most watched webstream of a primary debate ever.
Many attribute the ratings boost to the surging Donald Trump’s celebrity and unpredictable nature. Mr. Trump released the following tweet after the ratings were posted:
“Just announced that in the history of @CNN, last night’s debate was its highest rated ever. Will they send me flowers & a thank you note?
Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent for CNN, responded to Mr. Trump’s tweet with a flower image filled tweet of his own.
While the night and ratings were perhaps a result of the billionaire mogul, excitement about a deep, taltented batch of GOP candidates clearly played a part. The night showcased numerous candidates on the largest stage they might ever have, and that helps everyone in attendence.