More than 55 million viewers tuned in for the second and final presidential debate between President Trump Donald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE and Democratic nominee Joe Biden Joe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE on Thursday night, according to overnight ratings data by Nielsen Media Research.
The 55 million watching the comparatively civil event in Nashville marked a considerable decline from the first debate between the two last month, when more than 73 million tuned in.
Fox News led all broadcast and cable networks with 14.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
ABC finished second with 10.8 million total viewers, followed by NBC with 10.2 million. CNN was fourth with 7.2 million viewers, followed by MSNBC's 6.7 million and CBS's 5.5 million.
In the 25- to 54-year-old demographic sought by advertisers, Fox News delivered 4.2 million viewers, followed by NBC with 3.9 million. ABC was fourth with 3.85 million, followed by CNN's 2.85 million and MSNBC's 1.5 million.
For context, the final 2016 debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham ClintonBon Jovi to campaign with Biden in Pennsylvania The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Biden gets late boost with key union endorsement MORE drew 73.2 million viewers.
In 2012, the third debate between then-President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney Willard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRatings drop to 55M for final Trump-Biden debate Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Mitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election MORE drew 59.2 million viewers.
Biden leads Trump in the RealClearPolitics index of polls in key states Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona by 3.8 percent.
On this day in 2016, Clinton led Trump by the same amount, 3.8 percent, in the same battleground states before going on to lose the election. Biden, however, has a larger lead than Clinton held in national polls, as well as a substantial funding advantage over Trump.