Los Angeles, Oct 5 : The much-hyped Sarah Palin-Joe Biden vice-presidential debate on October 2 has been ranked as the "most watched vice presidential debate ever", as it was keenly viewed by around 70 million viewers across the US, which was even more than those who watched the Presidential debate between Democratic Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.
Palin, the Republican governor of Alaska, and Biden, the Democratic senator from Delaware, also drew the biggest audience of any nationally televised political debate in 16 years, going back to a matchup among then-President George H.W. Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and independent Ross Perot, according to ratings issued on Friday, the Daily Times quoted the findings of the Nielsen Media Research as saying.
The three-way debate in October 1992 had pulled in 69.9 million viewers, said the research.
Nielsen analyst Anne Elliot suggested that nearly 70 million viewers in 1992 represented a bigger achievement, given there were roughly 60 million fewer potential viewers in the US then.
The tally for the Palin-Biden contest in St. Louis easily eclipsed the 52.4 million viewers who tuned in last Friday for this year's first presidential debate between McCain, an Arizona senator, and Obama, a senator from Illinois.
The Public Broadcasting Service, whose audience is not counted by Nielsen, estimated its network added 3.5 million viewers to the total for Palin and Biden, versus 2.6 million for McCain-Obama.