Debate was most-watched ever
The showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday appears likely to set a record for the mostwatched presidential debate ever.
A final viewership estimate from the Nielsen company was not immediately available on Tuesday. But preliminary estimates from 11 of the networks that carried the debate totaled 81.4 million viewers, which would topple a record that had stood for 36 years.
The previous record for presidential debate viewership was the 80.6 million people who saw the only debate in 1980 between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan.
No debate after that exceeded 70 million viewers.
Clinton has some bragging rights at home. When final results are in, the audience for her first presidential debate will more than double what her husband, former President Bill Clinton, received for his last presidential debate in 1996 (36.3 million viewers).
Only the Super Bowl annually commands a television audience of that size. The biggest audience in U.S. television history was the 114.4 million people who watched the 2015 Super Bowl between New England and Seattle.
Mike Pence waits to do a TV interview before Monday’s presidential debate on Long Island.