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Most-watched vice presidential debate in history

Published October 5, 2008 12:00 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The televised debate between vice presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden on Thursday was the most-watched vice presidential debate in history, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen Media Research.

From 7 to 9 p.m. MDT, 69.9 million Americans watched all or part of the debate, 17 1/2 million more than those who watched the Sept. 26 presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.

It's also 13 million more viewers than the 1984 vice presidential debate between Geraldine Ferraro and George H.W. Bush, and it's the most-watched of any political debate since 1992's debate between Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot, which also drew 69.9 million viewers.

In the top 56 of the country's television markets, an average of 45 percent of households watched part or all of the debate.

- Vince Horiuchi