The CBS-hosted Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday evening garnered 8.5 million viewers, the smallest audience out of any presidential debate during the 2016 cycle, CNN reported on Sunday.
The first Democratic debate in October, which was held on a Tuesday, averaged 15.3 million viewers. In comparison, the last Republican presidential primary debate, which was hosted by Fox Business Network, averaged 13.5 million viewers. Prior GOP debates drew record viewership totaling more than 20 million.
The Democratic National Committee has faced criticism for the number and scheduling of its primary debates. The next Democratic debate, set for Dec. 19, will also take place on a Saturday night, when fewer voters are likely to tune in.