Here’s a List of the Most-Watched Presidential Debates

By Chris Ariens 

As we await the Commission on Presidential Debates announcing who will moderate the three presidential and one vice presidential debates, Nielsen has released ratings from previous presidential match-ups.

The primary debates gave us a good sense of how engaged the electorate has been this time around. The first GOP debate on Fox News last August was the most-watched program ever on cable news. The second GOP debate in September on CNN, was the most-watched program ever for that network.

Nielsen found the most-watched debate since 1980 occurred just last cycle when Mitt Romney and Barack Obama faced off in their first debate which was moderated by Jim Lehrer. For the second most-watched debate, you have to go back 36 years to the lone debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, held a week before the election.