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51 million viewers tune in for Biden’s debate debacle against Trump

The first presidential debate, in which Joe Biden stumbled and Donald Trump repeated a barrage of lies and misinformation, was watched by 51.27 million viewers, according to CNN.

The Thursday night debate saw Biden’s befuddled performance spark “deep panic” among Democrats and glee among Trump supporters. The 90-minute event, which took place in Atlanta, was hosted by CNN but carried live by 22 networks.

CNN said on Friday that the debate drew the highest audience on its network with 9.53 million viewers, followed by 9.276 million on right-wing Fox News. Meanwhile, ABC News drew 9.21 million viewers and MSNBC got 4.122 million.

However, the number of people watching dropped more than 30 percent from 2020 when 73 million tuned in the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump.

A record 84 million people tuned in to watch the first 2016 debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“More people watched the CNN Presidential Debate than any other CNN program in history,” the network said in a statement.

The debate was also the most watched, non-sports program of 2024 so far on television.

CNN’s previous biggest audience was a 2015 republican debate featuring Trump, which was watched by 23.1 million viewers.

On Friday, Biden acknowledged his poor performance during a rally in North Carolina. “I know I’m not a young man, to state the obvious,” he said at the end of his remarks on Friday in Raleigh.

“Folks, I don’t walk as easy as I used to. I don’t speak as well as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to. But I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. I know how to do this job,” he said.

“I know what millions of Americans do: When you get knocked down you get back up.”

Read more on independent.co.uk