The first debate with only Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders (Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign after getting wiped out in Iowa) was a ratings bust. With just a 3.3 rating, Thursday night’s MSNBC debate was not only the lowest of the year, it was the lowest by quite a bit. The previous low this season, also a Democrat debate, earned a 6.0.
There are a number of possible reasons for this, or maybe a combination of reasons. Thursday night’s debate came just days after a townhall that featured Hillary and Bernie (albeit separately). The lack of interest might also mean that Democrat voters have made up their minds. The debate was moderated by two of NBC’s biggest stars, Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow. Unfortunately, it was broadcast on a third place cable network.
Charisma might be a factor. Watching a 293 year-old socialist argue with the aging Benghzi Bungler feels more like homework as opposed to an event. This is especially true when you compare the battle of old white people on the Democrat side to the sizzle and drama of the Republican debates — which have been smashing ratings records.
As the turnout in Iowa proved, all the excitement and energy in 2016 is with the GOP.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC