Was it a
The audience for Saturday's Republican debate, shown on
The figure from Nielsen is up 6% from the 12.46 million who watched the Jan. 28
Trump passed on that gathering because he was still steamed over the tough questions that Fox News anchor
But Trump finished second in the Iowa caucuses behind Sen.
The viewership jump showed that people will tune in to a debate on a Saturday - the night of the week that typically has the lowest number of homes using television.
The Democratic National Committee has been criticized for scheduling debates on Saturdays. ABC's last debate, when the Democrats met in New Hampshire on Dec. 15, was watched by 8.03 million viewers. When the Democrats faced off Nov. 14 on CBS, 8.55 million watched.
But the Republicans have drawn larger numbers throughout the campaign season going back to Aug. 6, when Fox News' audience of 24 million set a cable ratings record for a non-sports program.
Saturday's debate, moderated by "ABC World News Tonight" anchor David Muir and "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" co-anchor Martha Raddatz, had the largest audience for a primary debate shown on a broadcast network in at least 20 years.