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Viewership Insights: CNN’s Democratic Debates

This week, CNN hosted a two-night Democratic debate event in Detroit, with each evening featuring 10 candidates. Below, we share minute-by-minute viewership of the debates as well as where people were tuning in from, courtesy of Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 11 million smart TVs. Also below: a look at the audience for some of the frontrunners via CreatorIQ, an influencer platform that helps companies run brand ambassador campaigns with content creators.

Taking the stage for the first round: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Marianne Williamson, Amy Klobuchar, John Hickenlooper, Tim Ryan, John Delaney, and Steve Bullock. Night two featured Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Andrew Yang, Jay Inslee, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bill de Blasio, Michael Bennet and Tulsi Gabbard.

Related: Dump Trumpers Pump Media Bucks Into Debates

Here’s minute-by-minute viewership for both nights:

Key insights:

  • There was more tune-in overall for the second evening.
  • For Tuesday, viewership peaked around 8:45 p.m. ET, as the candidates sparred over health care and Medicare for All.
  • On Wednesday, viewership peaked around 8:37 p.m. ET, around the time Kamala Harris received the first question (about health care) and referred to Joe Biden as “Senator Biden” multiple times.

Hot spots of viewer location included the DMAs of Washington, DC; Detroit, MI; Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque, IA; Topeka, KS; Palm Springs, CA; West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL; and Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, among others.

Social Media Audience Demographics

We examined the social media audience demographics for a few of the candidates — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg — using data from CreatorIQ. Some highlights:

  • Sanders and Biden have female-dominated audiences (58% and 63%, respectively), and they are also popular with a younger crowd: 50% of Sanders’ audience is between 18-24 years old, while Biden’s is 43% 18-24 years old.
  • Warren captures an older crowd, with 36% over the age of 54.
  • Buttigieg has the most male-dominated audience (59%). He also has a fairly even breakdown across age groups.

Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

Pete Buttigieg

Joe Biden