Debate reaches 84 million viewers, toppling record
NEW YORK - The showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the most-watched presidential debate ever, with 84 million viewers.
The Nielsen company says viewership, over 13 different networks, toppled a record that had stood for 36 years. The previous record for presidential debate viewership was the 80.6 million people who saw the only debate in 1980 between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan.
At the time of the Carter-Reagan debate, the U.S. population was 226 million. Now, it is 324 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
No debate since 1980 had exceeded 70 million viewers.