With families traveling for the holidays, CNN’s GOP national security debate Tuesday night posted some of the lowest ratings of the campaign season -- but it’s still not all bad news for CNN.
A total of 3.599 million viewers tuned in to watch Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney's war of words over immigration policy, 1.041 million of which were in the adults 25-54 demo. That total is almost two million viewers below the figure for CNN’s last debate, its Western Republican Debate on Oct. 18.
Leaving aside CNBC’s debate on Nov. 9 – CNBC doesn’t have the viewership of CNN or the other news networks – this was the lowest-rated debate since CNN’s New Hampshire debate June 13.
That said, debates continue to be a cash cow for the cable news networks as the contest lifted CNN into first place for the night, nearly doubling second-place Fox in total viewers and beating it by 152 percent in the demo.
Every debate has drawn at least 3 million viewers, and it would appear the economy is still the top subject for viewers.
CBS' foreign policy debate also drew low ratings considering the national broadcast platform. While it was on a Saturday, it ranks behind one debate on both Fox News and CNN overall.