Wednesday night marked the most-watched primary debate in history for Democrats, even as Trump attempted to counter the event with a campaign rally.
The Democratic debate on Wednesday night broke the record for the most-watched primary debate for the party in history, NBC News reports.
The debate, which was the ninth debate for Democrats of the 2020 primary cycle, averaged 19.7 million total viewers on MSNBC and NBC. Additionally, NBC said the debate had 13.5 million viewers via live-stream and nearly 22 million video views across the company's various online platforms, the highest digital performance for the network since the 2016 election.
Included on the debate stage were Sens. Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren; former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Vice President Joe Biden; and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The massive ratings came despite an attempt by Donald Trump to counterprogram the event. Trump held a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, where he attacked the Democrats even as millions watched them.
"The barnstorming underscores Trump's eagerness to challenge every major Democratic primary event," Politico reported, noting that the rally began "about 30 minutes" after the Democrats had started.
While portions of Trump's Wednesday night rally speech were aired on the conservative Fox News during the "Hannity" show, the network did not air his rally in its entirety.
The Republican National Committee's official YouTube channel streamed the Trump rally, attracting roughly 4,500 views so far.
In June, the first 2020 Democratic debate attracted over 15 million viewers, outperforming a prime-time special earlier that month featuring Trump that drew in 3.9 million viewers.
A few months later, in September, 14 million watched the Democratic contest, while cable news decided not to pick up a Trump speech that same night, during which he once again complained about Hillary Clinton.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.