About 51.5M watch Biden v. Ryan


NielsenThe one and only vice presidential debate for 2012 is in the history books, and according to Nielsen, 51.479M people aged two or greater tuned in. That is roughly 16M less than were on hand for the first of three debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

In both cases, the 55+ demographic was by far the biggest part of the audience. There were well over three times more 55+ viewers than in there were in the 18-34 group, and not quite twice as many as the 35-54 group.

The two younger demographics comprised a higher share of the total audience in the preceding presidential debate.

Here are the breakdowns from Nielsen for the debates held thus far:

Rating Pres. 1 VP 1 Pres. 2 Pres. 3
All 40.4 31.9 TK TK
2+ 23.1 17.7 TK TK
18-34 17.8 10.5 TK TK
35-54 24.7 18.6 TK TK
55+ 39.6 34.4 TK TK
Source: Nielsen        
All 46,242 36,437 TK TK
2+ 67,187 51,419 TK TK
18-34 12,079 7,151 TK TK
35-54 19,929 14,941 TK TK
55+ 30,811 26,731 TK TK
Source: Nielsen        

Subscribers to RBR-TVBR can gain further information about the intersection of politics and the broadcast audience by reading these stories:

The Politics of the Radio Audience
The Politics of the Television Audience