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Biden-Trump First 2024 Debate TV Ratings Fall Hard Compared to 2020

Biden-Trump First 2024 Debate TV Ratings Fall Hard Compared to 2020

The first debate face-off (of the 2024 election cycle, at least) between President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Donald Trump drew a big audience — but not nearly as big as their 2020 debates.

The 90-minute debate, produced by CNN but aired on a host of other networks, averaged 47.9 million viewers, according to fast national ratings from Nielsen. That’s down about 34 percent from the candidates’ first debate in 2020, which drew 73.13 million viewers.

The debate, which most commentators said went poorly for Biden (with a few caveats), is the earliest general-election forum since televised debates debuted in 1960, taking place even before the two major party conventions. It was also the first general-election debate since 1988 that wasn’t organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

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