CNN Scores with First Clinton-Obama Debate

8.3M Tune In, Setting Cable-News Record for Primary Debate

The first mano-a-mano showdown between Democratic contenders Sens. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) was the most-watched primary debate in cable-news history.

The CNN debate -- which took place at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater and included an audience heavy with Tinsel Town luminaries -- attracted 8.3 million viewers, with 3.3 million of them in cable news’ key demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds.

That easily beat the previous cable-news-ratings record of 4.9 million viewers for CNN’s Democratic debate in South Carolina Jan. 21.

ABC News holds the debate ratings record for the season. More than 9 million viewers watched the network’s primetime Democratic debate Jan. 5, two days before the New Hampshire primary.