September 8, 2011 / 11:51 PM / 6 years ago

MSNBC sets new bar for GOP debates

NEW YORK ( - The battle royal between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney -- and those other candidates on the stage -- was very kind to MSNBC.

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry participate in the Reagan Centennial GOP presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California September 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Wednesday’s GOP presidential candidates’ debate, which was sponsored by NBC News and Politico, drew 5.4 million viewers to the network and 1.73 million in the coveted adults 25-54 demographic.

With two more GOP presidential candidates’ debates coming up this month, MSNBC has set the new ratings bar. The ratings for Wednesday’s debate beat the numbers for Fox News’ August contest in both total viewers and the coveted adults 25-54 demographic. Fox’s debate, which took place before Perry entered the race, attracted 5.1 million viewers and 1.43 in the demo.

But there are challengers on the horizon.

CNN and the Tea Party Express have partnered for a debate September 12 while Fox and Google will host one on September 22.

So that begs one question: While Fox is the unquestioned ratings titan of the cable news world, who will take the cake when it comes to debates?

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