By Brent Lang
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Tuesday's Republican
presidential debate in Las Vegas hit the ratings jackpot for
The event, which featured such colorful conservative
hopefuls as Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, delivered 5.5
million total viewers and 1.6 million in the coveted adults
The debate's viewership spiked 51 percent over CNN's Sept.
12 Tea Party Express debate in Tampa, Fla.
It was the second most watched debate this year, trailing
only last month's Republican showdown on cable news leader Fox
News. CNN's flashy set and massive logo-flaunting cubes were no
match for Fox News' Sept. 22 debate coverage, which logged 6.1
million total viewers and 1.7 million in the 25-54
Still, CNN produced bullish numbers and further evidence
that, regardless of whether the GOP retakes the White House,
viewers are enjoying the political theater on display during
Tuesday's square-off between the likes of Mitt Romney, Rick
Santorum and Rick Perry propelled CNN to first place among its
cable news brethren. CNN was top rated in both total viewers
and in the key demo 25-54, topping second place Fox among total
viewers (2.1 million) and in the 25-54 subset (493,000).
CNN also out-performed MSNBC among total viewers (747,000)
and among the 25-54 crowd (179,000).
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