If Tuesday’s debate is anything like last week’s display, viewers are in for quite a show. In what was called the “greatest debate in human history” by the New York Post, the Las Vegas showdown was the most-watched faceoff leading up to the 2020 presidential race. Nearly 20 million people tuned in. For comparison, 18.7 million watched the Grammys and 18.3 million sat down in front of their televisions for the Golden Globes.
So, what made the ninth debate different from the rest? It was likely the presence of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He didn’t qualify for the debate stage until the Democratic National Committee dropped the donor requirement in January, which allowed Bloomberg to finally join.
The billionaire took jabs from fellow candidates and was asked about his signature law, stop-and-frisk. The controversial policy ordered officers to stop and search millions of New Yorkers, most of whom were black or Hispanic and had not perpetrated a crime.
The first Democratic debate in June drew 18.1 million viewers. After that it tapered off, drawing in roughly 6 to 8 million.
The tenth debate, which marked Bloomberg's second time debating, drew 15.3 million viewers.