Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg's first debate appearance drove ratings to a record-high Wednesday night, according to Nielsen ratings provided by NBC News. The debate averaged nearly 20 million live TV viewers across NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, according to preliminary numbers.

Why it matters: Bloomberg's highly anticipated debate debut drew contentious zingers from opponents who were eager to spar with him on stage for the first time.

The big picture: The previous record-holder was also the NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo trio, for the first debate the sister networks hosted of the 2020 Democratic primary. That debate broke previous records set last June with 18.1 million viewers the second night, and 15.3 million viewers the first.

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Data: Nielsen; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

By the numbers: NBC News says that roughly 13.5 million people tuned into at least part of its live stream of Wednesday's debate, which also set records.

  • Previously, the most live-streamed debate was the first of this cycle, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo, both nights of which drew 9 million live stream viewers.
  • The debate also saw record viewership of more than 5.3 million in the lucrative 25-54-year-old demographic.

What's next: These are just preliminary figures. The final number will likely be a little bit higher.

Go deeper: 4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 7,074,155 — Total deaths: 204,461 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
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What they're saying: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading political figures reacted to President Trump's Saturday afternoon nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "President Trump could not have made a better decision," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Amy Coney Barrett: "Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me"

Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Olivier Douleiry/Getty Images

In speaking after President Trump announced her as the Supreme Court nominee to replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett said on Saturday she will be "mindful" of those who came before her on the court if confirmed.

What she's saying: Barrett touched on Ginsburg's legacy, as well as her own judicial philosophy and family values. "I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution," she said. "I'm truly humbled at the prospect of serving on the  Supreme Court."