Fewer Americans view third Obama-Romney TV debate

LOS ANGELES Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:21am EDT

A member of the crowd watches Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama meet in the final U.S. presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

A member of the crowd watches Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama meet in the final U.S. presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Innerarity

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The number of American TV viewers who watched the last debate between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney fell sharply on a night when football and baseball competed with politics for eyeballs.

Final Nielsen ratings data on Tuesday showed that 59.2 million Americans watched Monday's third match-up between the two men before the November 6 presidential elections.

That figure was 8 million below the 67.2 million who tuned in for their first encounter on October 3. Some 65.6 million viewers watched the second debate last week.

Monday's foreign policy debate was carried by 11 cable and broadcast networks. But Romney and Obama were competing against the Major League Baseball playoffs on Fox television - seen by 8.1 million - and ESPN's Monday Night Football, which drew an audience of 10.7 million, Nielsen said.

None of the presidential debates this year have captured Americans' attention like the 2008 vice-presidential encounter between Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden.

It was watched by 69.9 million people and ties as the second most-viewed debate ever.

The most-watched presidential debate on U.S. television was the October 1980 encounter between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. It drew 80.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen, which began collecting debate data in 1976.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (1)
morbas wrote:
Citizen, this heavily weighted destiny is at your discretion:
After two contentious debates that helped to reshape the battle for the White House, the final encounter between Obama and Romney featured our strategic diplomacy. By by adopting the present strategy, Romney was acquiescing to supporting Obama’s geo-political objectives. It reveals a challenger with little bureaucratic means; a R.Trump CEO attitude. One that will require large and frequent military engagements demanded by Tea Party agendas.

The Tea Party shunned the debate as the outcome was certainly not favorable. Also Democrats view Obama an right side moderate, having given the Republicans far to much, as Boehner said ‘we got everything we wanted’ emerging from closed door Obama negotiation (other democrats excluded). The people also want significant changes, commenting about “A Plan for Jobs & Middle Class Security,” as nothing new. Obama be warned, a prevent defense will finalize the first debate. If you want four more years, instead of tweaking the tax code, Nationalize it to enforce fairness. Top tax rate 90%, 150K rate 50%, margin set at 1.5X Poverty. No other taxes permitted as all revenue evenly split between Federal, State and Municipality. Obama, please emerge from your shell.

Oct 24, 2012 8:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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