Speed Reads

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Last night's Trump-less debate was the second-lowest rated GOP debate of the season

Even though Thursday's Fox News-hosted Republican presidential debate was the second-lowest rated GOP debate of the season, it still drew a bigger audience than Donald Trump did. The debate, which Trump boycotted after claiming that moderator Megyn Kelly was biased, drew 12.5 million viewers. Trump's counter-programmed Iowa event raising money for veterans was watched by roughly 2.7 million viewers.

However, the question remains of just how much bigger Thursday's debate audience would have been had Trump decided to participate. The first time the GOP frontrunner faced off against Kelly in the opening debate in August, Fox News drew a record 24 million viewers.