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The 2016 Democratic candidates for president had their first debate on Tuesday night and, despite CNN’s attempt to lure all the cool kids with promises of a virtual reality nature, it was seen by less than half the number of people who tuned in for either of the first two Republican debates. According to The Hollywood Reporter, just 9.2 million people tuned in to watch Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders discuss topics of national concern while the other candidates struggled to remind viewers of who they are.

The ratings are still being processed, so we could eventually learn that roughly 11 million watched, but that number still falls well short of the 25 million people who watched the first GOP debate on Fox News, as well as the 23 million viewers that CNN nabbed by airing the second debate. Now, the GOP debates probably benefitted from having more than twice the number of candidates (just think of all those constituencies!), and with each Republican nominee being more outlandish than the last, you can’t discount the “morbid curiosity” factor.


But the Democratic candidates as a whole have generated less interest than their Republican counterparts, going over boring things like health care and email servers instead of making incendiary comments about immigrants or doing a “dumbass livestream” of an average day in their lives. Sure, Sanders let out a “damn” during one of his responses, but overall, the affair was way too civil and issues-focused to make for good television. For their next debate on November 14, the Democrats should think about using Peanuts avatars in their places or doing a crossover with The Good Wife. But since it will air on CBS, Sanders will have to watch his potty mouth.