67.2 million watched the first presidential debate
Interestingly, the second debate in 2008 garnered 10.8 million more viewers than the first. After what some analysts have called a weak performance, President Obama is looking to tweak his debate strategy for the next faceoff with Mitt Romney on Oct. 16.
The highest-rated debate, according to Politico, was in 1980 between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, which had 80.6 million viewers.
The ratings were based on those watching ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, PBS, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CurrentTV and CNBC. They do not include those who watched online.