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Second primary debate ratings tank, drop by 3.5 million viewers over first debate

The second debate saw few candidates stand out with memorable quips or exchanges and none appear to have come away with a clear victory.

Published: September 28, 2023 6:17pm

Updated: September 29, 2023 12:22am

The second Republican primary debate on Wednesday drew a considerably smaller audience than the first debate, bringing in more than three million fewer viewers.

Hosted at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the debate drew about 9.5 million viewers through Fox Business, the network's other channels, and Univision, The Hill reported, citing Nielsen data. The first debate drew in 13 million viewers, meaning the second debate saw a roughly 27% drop.

Former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate in the race, attended neither event and the only lineup change on Wednesday evening was the absence of former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who failed to qualify.

The second debate saw few candidates stand out with memorable quips or exchanges and none appear to have come away with a clear victory.

In the wake of the debate, the Trump campaign has called on the Republican National Committee to cancel the remaining debates and commit its resources to ousting President Joe Biden from the White House.

"The RNC should immediately put an end to any further primary debates so we can train our fire on Crooked Joe Biden and quit wasting time and money that could be going to evicting Biden from the White House," Trump Campaign Senior Advisor Chris LaCivita said after the debate's conclusion.

The next debate is slated for Nov. 8 and will be held in Miami, Fla.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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