This post has been updated.
The first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night may have been the most watched debate ever – among Democrats.
Nielsen ratings show that 15.3 million viewers — 11% of American homes with televisions — tuned in, according to debate sponsor CNN. That would beat the previous record for a Democratic debate set in 2008, when 8.9% — or 10.7 million Americans — tuned in.
It’s still far short of the viewership of this year’s Republican debates, featuring Donald Trump. The August debate on Fox drew 25 million viewers, while the CNN GOP debate in September drew 23 million.
Executives told CNN that the two parties’ debates are “apples and oranges” and that they didn’t expect the Democrats to match Trump et. al.
The network did trumpet the numbers of viewers who livestreamed the Democratic debate, saying that 980,000 were watching at one point — more than streamed the Republican debates, which topped out at 921,000.
And the Twitter hashtag for the debate, #DemDebate, trended on Facebook and Twitter for much of the evening, the network said.