CNBC Dumpster Fire Debate brings in 14 million viewers.

Ten million less than the first two*; mind you, the first two weren’t playing opposite the World Series and were available online via free streaming. You have to wonder whether or not CNBC is relieved that they didn’t make that aforementioned dumpster fire of a debate freely available: on the one hand, if they had then more people would have watched CNBC that night. On the other hand, if they had then more people would have watched CNBC that night. On the gripping hand, CNBC should probably enjoy their record numbers and/or ad revenue from last night, because it’s going to be a cold day in Perdition before the GOP will let them host another one.

It will be interesting to see what happens next month, though. The next Republican debate will be on November 10th (Fox Business News), while the next Democratic one will be on November 14th (CBS). How will the ratings compare? Well, I expect that by then we’ll have seen a further shrinking of the Republican slate; the Democratic one, of course, has already by now winnowed itself down to three, and it’d be two if there was any kind of pressure being placed on Martin O’Malley to simply just go home already.  CBS is a bigger media venue than FBN; possibly compensating for that, though, is the fact that there is simply no promise of anything interesting ever happening a Democratic debate for the rest of this cycle.

Frankly, I’m expecting that the viewing numbers for each will drop sharply.  The electorate is starting to get a feel for our candidates, and the time for Hillary Clinton to change her public image ended some time in 1993. If Bernie Sanders is prepared to start throwing rhetorical punches at Hillary Clinton, there might be continued interest in the Democrats even bothering with a third debate.  If instead Bernie Sanders keeps yelling at free market capitalist clouds, then the aforementioned free market will find something else that’s more interesting to watch. I understand that curling can be riveting…

(Image via Shutterstock)

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*And about a million or so less than the first Democratic debate. I mention this because the Usual Suspects will undoubtedly attempt to cling to this tidbit of information, in much the same way as shipwrecked mariners will cling to floating spars.  And with the same long-term hopes for survival, honestly.

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