There is still plenty of interest—as evidenced by the initial ratings for the second CNN GOP presidential debate on Tuesday night—but at the same time the results may presage voter fatigue with what seems like an endless series of debates.
According to Nielsen Fast National ratings data, the CNN Facebook GOP debate was the second most watched program in the network’s history with 18 million viewers. But that was down 22 percent from CNN’s first debate in September and may be an indication that voters are losing interest in watching the large Republican field spend two hours arguing with each other.
This was the last GOP debate of 2015—the next one is scheduled for January 14 and will be broadcast by Fox Business Network—which attracted 13.5 million viewers despite its limited carriage by cable systems.
CNN will air its third debate in March, by which time the GOP field should have significantly narrowed, and hopefully the undercard debate will be but a distant memory.