November 29th, 2007
03:43 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN/YouTube debate draws record-breaking audience

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nearly 5 million viewers tuned in to watch the CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, making it the highest rated primary debate in cable news history.

A total of 4.9 million viewers watched the Republican candidates square off – 4.4 million on CNN and 500,000 on CNN Headline News, which simulcast the debate.

CNN’s Democratic presidential debate at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas two weeks ago is the second highest-rated debate in history, with 4 million total viewers.

With five weeks to go before the first wave of voters weigh in at the polls, the historic television audiences seem to indicate a growing interest in what have shaped up to be wide-open primary contests in both parties.

Filed under: CNN/YouTube Debate
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. karen nj

    Oh no, please don't encourage the Youtube geeks

    November 29, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Paul Norfleet, Milton, Georgia

    Just a terrible example of CNN stacking the debate. We can never trust anything you people do or say. First, planting good ole' Hillary questions and then the gay general. You people are a joke. The you Tubetube thing is ridiculous after Anderson said we would not use comics or sick humor this evening. What was the VP Cheney mimic about?

    November 29, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Kelly Collins

    CNN doesn't have one story about the contraversial debate coverage, which diplayed its absolute bias once again. Were there any questions that were not from the liberal left? Are we supposed to believe that CNN had no idea the General asking about gays in the military was working for the Clinton campaign? Not one mention, even though the story was headline news! I will give them this, they do not worry about showing their stripes, they are rip-roaring liberals out to defeat Republicans. There is a reason they are called the Clinton News Network... Very sad

    November 29, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. karen nj

    Congratulations Anderson , and CNN on your big win.

    November 29, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Steve, Medford, Oregon

    The Duh/Tube Republican debate was a liberal network twisting the issues
    with Clinton plants and a slant towards homosexual rights. It's not
    illegal to be a homosexual, but as
    "sexual orientation" seems to be on
    the CNN/NBC/Clinton liberal agenda,
    soon they will be granting "special
    rights" to a small group of people who
    made a choice to be homosexual. Only
    liberal psychologists/psudeo scientists think homosexuality is
    inherited. It's a choice, period !

    November 29, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Alex Souza


    November 29, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Rick Schlosser, Jacksonville, FL

    General Keith Kerr's ticket to the Republican debate was paid for by CNN and he was able to spend more time asking his "set-up" question than any candidate was allowed to have to answer. CNN KNEW he was in Clinton's camp and was part of the "set-up" to try and embarass the Republicans. Folks, thank goodness it backfired on you and Anderson Cooper should have had more sense than to do something this underhanded. A news organization .... what a joke!

    November 29, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    um, Ron Paul?

    November 29, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. therealist

    CNN mislead 4.9 million viewers into believing they were seeing candidates answer important political questions from unbiased sources..

    November 29, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. Chris Bronson Atlanta, GA.

    I watched CNN for at least two hours today and didn't hear a word about the gay General working for the Clinton campaign, I thought that would be news. I guess not.

    November 29, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. Tom Meadows, Riverside, CA

    The choice of what videos' to show was on you Anderson and picking the democratic's surgates sure shows where YOU and CNN stands on being FAIR AND BALANCED.

    November 29, 2007 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |


    November 29, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. David, Belton, Texas

    To CNN, don't waste our time or the political candidates with those stupid questions like you all did last night (the last question being about base ball). Who cares! What we do care about his hearing from the candidates about issues not cute questions! CNN should be ashamed!

    November 29, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  14. tony m , new bern north carolina

    i feel AC was outof lie letting the gay gen speak from te floor when he already did the youtube bit, the others did not get the same chance.
    AC in my opinon is favoring the gay communitity

    November 29, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Laura Tulsa OK

    The "staff" at CNN who selected the questions showed out NOT in TOUCH with America they are by focusing so much on gay military rights. Now I won't deny that we should address this as an issue, but we're at war and supposedly Americans are waking up with other matters on their minds, yet CNN choose to highlight gay rights...

    November 29, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  16. Jaime, LA, CA

    But it was a manipulated and deceptive event. CNN took the time to carefully screen the questions, find a 13 year old Romney quote, create a trap for Romney and fly Keith Kerr to Fla., but they couldn't 'google' Keith Kerr, Retired Colonel ?

    November 29, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  17. MSSam, Hattiesburg MS

    CNN, I challenge you as a network to actually become the most trusted name in news. As long as there have been news agencies, there has been political bias in reporting, but it's becoming more and more clear that the interference into politics by news networks such as CNN and others has increased the partisan hatred a hundredfold, and this country is being ripped apart at the seams. We need to be able to unite, to listen to and respect each other's ideas without the childish bickering and namecalling. And you at CNN should be ashamed of yourselves for interfering in the two most recent debates by allowing planted questions that clearly favor one party and one candidate over all others.

    So I challenge you to end the planted questions and the blatant Clinton favoritism, and if you can't, then I hope that all the candidates, Republican and Democrat, who haven't been given a fair shake will decline all future invitations to debates hosted on CNN

    November 29, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. Ilene, Sacramento, CA

    I watched in complete dismay that one of the most important issues on most of Americans mind: Health Care never came up. Am I surprised? Not exactly, but what a HUGE disapointment and diservice to this country. WHAT A SHAME CNN !!!!!

    November 29, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Matthew Richmond Virginia

    Annoy CNN, vote Republican.

    November 29, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Ron Paul was clearly the winner in last nights republican debate. The rest of them are status quo and all of you are in for a rude awakening. You can try all you want to say and give the other candidates your support but the small business owners in the U.S. will support Ron Paul. The media is owned by the Jews in the country, the Senate and congress are owned by the REPUBLICATS/DEMOCANS and they both work hand in hand to try to divide and conquer us.This is the new organized crime in the United States and its days are numbered.Hopefully many of them will be sent to jail as where the past organized crime syndicates in the history of the country.

    November 29, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  21. B. Holland, Cornelius, NC

    The CNN Republican debate lasted over 2 hours Wednesday night, but once more, we learned nothing about what the candidates would do about the economic dilemma we are in. Not a word about the housing crisis, or the credit crunch. Not a word about the Recession Wall Street is betting on. We learned nothing about the broken health care system, stagnant wages, rising food, gasoline, and college costs. Nothing about global warming, trade deficits, energy dependence – we heard the same conservative rhetoric about not raising taxes, but slashing domestic spending by using the veto pen -when, in actuality, where we are at this point, this would be like squashing a gnat on a giant! Ron Paul , though given little time in the debate, at least knows where the money is, by pledging to bring the troops home, and save billions in the military budget. We did learn where they are on "securing the borders", outlawing abortion, reading the bible,gays in the military, protecting guns, and cutting taxes on the wealthy and spending more on the military – we all got that! But there might be a couple of voters out there who are interested in the declining dollar, the depreciation of their homes, the housing crash, the recession, the health care system, soaring gas prices, inflation running rampant, etc., etc. Is it any wonder that the majority of the nation has no idea who they will vote for in the upcoming primaries? Is it any wonder that we have no idea if any of these clowns can handle the state of affairs that have escalated under our present administration? Give us real debates on real issues! Give all of the candidates an opportunity to address these issues! Thus far, we haven't heard the real issues or the real solutions from any of them. The record viewership is telling you that we are not tuning in to be entertained, we are concerned about our country, our livlihoods, our families, our futures!

    November 29, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  22. RealB.G., Sacramento, California

    I watched the Democratic hosted by Wolf Blitzer and now the Republican You Tube/debate and CNN has proved to be unfit to host another debate. We watch the debates to get a clear understanding of the candidates and their policies and beliefs about the major issues facing our country. The questions selected were shallow and limiting. The one question about gays in the military was insightful; however, with the connection to the Clinton campaign it has been rendered irrelevant. Why can't anyone maintain crowd control? I like Anderson Cooper and typically find his reporting of the highest ethical standards so I have to conclude that there are institutional deficiences within CNN. Moreover, the Bill Bennett comment about the "darky Governor of Louisiana" completely reprehensible and CNN should issue a statement addressing such rhetoric. Completely disappointing.

    November 29, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. Alex, Phildelphia, PA

    The debate was a disaster. CNN turned it into a cirucus rather than a real discussion of the candidates different points of view. They included questions about sports, the confederate flag, trips to mars and the literal translation of the bible but nothing about healthcare, education and the environment! Pointless. And the You Tube videos were a bad idea. Let's bring back some serious discussion to these debates. We're talking about who is going to be the next President of the United States! C'mon CNN.

    November 29, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  24. Phil, Arlington VA

    I guess this is the closest thing to actual coverage of your own debate we're gonna get... a "Ticker" blurb buried several posts deep. C'mon, it wasn't that embarassing for CNN was it?

    November 29, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. Jon B Olathe KS

    People tuned in and were severely dissappointed...

    November 30, 2007 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
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