Top Moments: 2016 PBS Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate

 In Audience Research

Last night, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders took the stage once more for the PBS Democratic Presidential Debate. The race toward the Presidential election has begun. Clinton claimed Iowa by the skin of her teeth. Sanders claimed New Hampshire in a landslide. And with Governor Martin O’Malley withdrawing from the race, the only obstacle between the two remaining candidates and the title of the Democratic Presidential candidate of 2016…is each other.

The candidates focused on the issues at hand, instead of each other, in last night’s debate. Clinton bounced back from her New Hampshire defeat, claiming the top three of the TiVo® top moments. Check out which moments caused viewership to spike in PBS’s Democratic Presidential Debate!

1. Clinton’s closing statement

10:52 p.m.: “And here in Wisconsin, I want to reiterate: We’ve got to stand up for unions and working people who have done it before the American middle class, and who are being attacked by ideologues, by demagogues. Yes, does Wall Street and big financial interests, along with drug companies, insurance companies, big oil, all of it, have too much influence? You’re right. But if we were to stop that tomorrow, we would still have the indifference, the negligence that we saw in Flint. We would still have racism holding people back. We would still have sexism preventing women from getting equal pay. We would still have LGBT people who get married on Saturday and get fired on Monday. And we would still have Governors like Scott Walker and others trying to rip out the heart of the middle class by making it impossible to organize and stand up for better wages and working conditions. So I’m going to keep talking about tearing down all the barriers that stand in the way of Americans fulfilling their potential, because I don’t think our country can live up to its potential unless we give a chance to every single American to live up to theirs.”

2. Clinton’s opening statement

9:07 p.m.: “I’m running for President to knock down all the barriers that are holding Americans back, and to rebuild the ladders of opportunity that will give every American a chance to advance, especially those who have been left out and left behind. I know a lot of Americans are angry about the economy. And for good cause. Americans haven’t had a raise in 15 years. There aren’t enough good-paying jobs, especially for young people. And yes, the economy is rigged in favor of those at the top.”

3. Clinton on Wall Street and campaign finance system

10:07 p.m.: “I’ve made it very clear that no bank is too big to fail, no executive too powerful to jail, and because of Dodd-Frank, we now have in law a process that the President, the Federal Reserve, and others can use if any bank poses a systemic risk. I think that’s a major accomplishment.”

4. Sanders’ opening statement

9:04 p.m.: “And what has happened is, I think, the American people have responded to a series of basic truths, and that is that we have today a campaign finance system which is corrupt, which is undermining American democracy, which allows Wall Street and billionaires to pour huge sums of money into the political process to elect the candidates of their choice.”

5. Sanders and Clinton on the Affordable Care Act

9:14 p.m.: Sanders: “One out of five Americans can’t even afford the prescriptions their doctors are writing. Millions of people have high deductibles and co-payments. What I said, and let me repeat it, I don’t know what economists Secretary Clinton is talking to, but what I have said, and let me repeat it, that yes, the middle — the family right in the middle of the economy would pay $500 dollars more in taxes, and get a reduction in their healthcare costs of $5,000 dollars. In my view healthcare is a right of all people, not a privilege, and I will fight for that.”

Clinton: “I can only say that we both share the goal of universal health care coverage. You know, before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare. And I took on the drug companies, and I took on the insurance companies to try to get us universal health care coverage. And [the reason] why I am a staunch supporter of President Obama’s principal accomplishment – namely the Affordable Care Act – is because I know how hard it was to get that done. We are at 90 percent coverage. We have to get the remaining 10 [percent]. I’ve set forth very specific plans about how to get costs down, especially prescription drug costs.”


Featured photo credit: [TASOS KATOPODIS 2016/AFP/Getty Images]

Source: TiVo Research


TiVo Research’s 2-11-16 Democratic Candidate Debate analysis was prepared using aggregated, anonymous, second-by-second audience measurement data from approximately 30,000 anonymous households out of a daily sample of 350,000 subscribers to the Emmy®-award winning TiVo® service. TiVo Research gauges the interest in programming content by measuring the percentage of the TiVo audience watching in “play” speed. The most engaging moments are determined by looking for program content with the biggest bump in viewership relative to the surrounding 15 minutes of programming, offering a true reflection of change in viewership.

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