Jul 31, 2019

8.7 million watched Night 1 of second Democratic debate

Candidates at the Democratic debate in Detroit. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

More than 8 million people tuned into Night 1 of the second round of Democratic primary debates for the 2020 cycle, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen.

Why it matters: It was a significantly smaller audience than that of the first round of debates that aired in June — which drew 15.3 million viewers on Night 1, while the second totaled 18.1 million viewers.

Yes, but: Those debates aired live across 3 networks: MSNBC, NBC and Telemundo.

Between the lines: CNN says this was its second-highest Democratic debate for live viewership on record, next to its October 2015 Democratic debate in Las Vegas. It says it was also its second most-watched debate on livestream.

Go deeper: First 2020 primary debate breaks viewership records

Go deeper

10.7 million watched Night 2 of second Democratic debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A few buzzy zingers and testy exchanges during Night 2 of the second round of Democratic debates on Wednesday caused ratings to tick up from the previous evening.

By the numbers: More than 10 million people tuned into the second night on live television, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. That's higher than the 8.7 million that watched the night before.

Go deeperArrowAug 1, 2019

Bernie Sanders wins Twitter in hyper-engaged debate week

Data: Sprout Social; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Bernie Sanders had the highest volume of Twitter mentions in the second round of the Democratic debates last week, and the debates generated 18% more tweets than the first round in June even though the TV audience was much smaller, according to data provided to Axios by Sprout Social.

Why it matters: Compared to the first round, last week's debates were heavier on disagreement and confrontation, allowing voters to see discrepancies in the candidates and how they responded to challenges in real time, a departure from rehearsed stump speeches.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019

4 big moments from Night 1 of the second Democratic debate

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the absence of frontrunner Joe Biden, the first night of the second round of Democratic presidential debates on Tuesday saw former Rep. John Delaney, who is polling at less than 1%, assume the unlikely role of moderate foil to progressive heavyweights Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The big picture: CNN moderators largely (and predictably) framed the debate as whether Democrats are drifting too far to the left with policies like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal proposal and free college tuition. Those that expected Warren and Sanders to turn on one another were likely disappointed — the pair spent most of the night tag teaming moderates like Delaney, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Rep. Tim Ryan, urging them to dream big on policy and "stop using Republican talking points."

Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019