Moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Tuesday night’s CNN GOP debate was the third most watched debate in televised debate history, according to Nielsen ratings. There were over 18 million live viewers plus another 3 million live streams, beating the Fox Business debate by 4 million. Fox News still has the record number of debate viewers with its August 6th debate earlier this year. And in second place is CNN’s Republican debate from September 16th. In fact, there were 10 million more viewers for Tuesday night’s debate than there were at the last Democratic debates.
John Nolte of Brietbart wrote, “Anyone looking for further proof of where the energy, intensity, interest and excitement is this election season need only look at the ratings.” The high number of viewers may have been attributed to the apparent fiery flame-throwing of blame that occurred at the debate.
“Welcome to the most volatile Republican presidential race in modern times,” wrote William Whalen of Fox News. The volatility was all between the candidates. Jeb Bush admonished Donald Trump by saying it is impossible to “insult your way to the White House.” Trump countered with blows, reminding Bush of his poor poll numbers.
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Chris Christie threatened to shoot down Russian planes if Russian planes violated a proposed no-fly zone. Rand Paul slapped back at Christie by saying if America really wants WWIII then Christie is the candidate to choose with rhetoric like shooting down a Russian plane.
All in all, Trump and Cruz stuck to playing nicely, leaving some to question if they will ever be baited into biting each other. While polls seem to indicate that Trump and Cruz came on top against the other candidates, the high ratings made CNN the clear winner monetarily.