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Republican debate most-watched program in CNN history

Some 22.9 million people in the United States watched the second Republican primary debate, making it the most-watched program in CNN history, the network reported on Thursday.

The numbers for Wednesday's debate easily surpass the 16.8 million viewers who watched a special "Larry King Live" episode in 1993 that featured Al Gore and Ross Perot debating NAFTA. The most-watched presidential primary debate on CNN before Wednesday was a Democratic debate in January 2008 that attracted 8.3 million viewers.

In addition to TV viewers in the United States, at least 921,000 people used CNN's online livestream, which was only accessible to people from the United States. The figures do not include international viewers, as the debate also aired on CNN International and CNN en EspaƱol.

The numbers, however, are slightly lower than the record 24 million people who watched the first Republican primary debate on Fox News last month.

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