Fewer than half of the US public (43%) say they have watched one or more of the presidential debates. Reflecting the Democrats’ greater engagement on the campaign, nearly half of Democrats (48%) say they have watched a debate in the past year, compared with 44% of independents and just 38% of Republicans. In addition, far more Democrats (14%) than Republicans (4%) say they only watched a debate involving their own party’s. About the same proportion of Democrats (32%) Republicans (28%) and independents (32%) say they watched the debates of both parties. People who say they get most of their campaign news from cable news networks are more likely to have watched a debate than people who get their election news elsewhere. More than half (55%) of those who cite cable news as their main source of campaign information watched at least one presidential debate, the highest proportion of any campaign news audience. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.