Debate breaks viewership records

By Maddy Longwell

Staff Writer

More than 80 million people around the world tuned in to watch the first presidential debate before the 2016 general election. The debate, which featured Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Republican nominee Donald Trump, took place at Hofstra University on Monday, Sept. 26.

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Source: media.npr.org

Monday’s debate was the most watched presidential debate in American history. The viewer number counted only viewers who watched on network television and did not include those who streamed it online, watched it on PBS or CSPAN, or watched it in public settings like a bar.

The face-off lasted nearly two hours and was moderated by NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt. The candidates discussed a wide range of topics, all of which have defined their platforms during this campaign and have driven national discourse over the past year.

On Tuesday morning both mainstream and social media was flooded with responses to the debate; viewers and commenters have published everything from opinion pieces on the New York Times homepage to video compilations and gifs.

One of the greatest themes of the debate was fact-checking. Both media and campaign websites provided real time fact-checking of the event.

Around the country, college students gathered for viewing parties of the debate. At Simmons, students watched at a viewing party in Arnold Hall, hosted by two RAs of the hall.

The debate was the first of three presidential debates that will take place before the election on Nov. 8. The second debate will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. and will be moderated by Anderson Cooper. The third debate will take place just 10 days later on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be hosted by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

In addition, vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence will debate on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. The debate will be moderated by Elaine Quijano of CBS.

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