Nielson Media Research

National household ratings for earlier presidential debates (each year’s first debate only):

2008: McCain-Obama: 34.7

2004: Kerry-Bush: 39.4

2000: Bush-Gore: 31.7

1996: Clinton-Dole: 31.6

1992: Clinton-Bush-Perot: 38.3

1988: Bush-Dukakis: 36.8

1984: Reagan-Mondale: 45.3

1980: Carter-Reagan: 58.9

1976: Ford-Carter: 53.5

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