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Democratic Debates, Part 3: Advertisers & Video Stats

The third Democratic Candidate Debates occurred on Thursday, Sept. 12 in primetime on ABC. With a narrowed field due to greater stipulations around who could actually be on stage this time around, this was the first debate to fit every candidate on just one night. There were still 10 candidates participating this time around, however.

That full list: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

First, utilizing data from iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company, we can look at advertiser and audience data from the debate, which aired from 8-11 p.m. ET.

Impressions: 217,511,779

Est. TV Spend: $2,465,379

Audience leaned heavily on viewers 35 and older

  • Just 26.7% of viewers of the latest Democratic debate were in the 18-34 year old age range — that said 10.4% were 18-24 years (a group including many first-time voters in a U.S. presidential election).
  • Pretty even split between 35-54 year-olds and 55+ age ranges.

Limited ads from a handful of brands

  • More than half of spend during the debates came from five brands. SoFi, Dupixent, Alzheimer’s Association, the New York Times and Twentieth Century Fox totaled 55.3%.
  • Seven different non-network brands aired 2-3 spots during the event
  • ABC had a total of six airings during the debates (these were network spots, however, so were not paid brand ads).

Top Brand Spots, by Impressions

Which candidates won on social video?

From last week’s Democratic Debates on ABC (Sept. 12) through Monday, Sept. 16, Joe Biden has led all presidential hopefuls on social video platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Video measurement company Tubular Labs shows 11.5 million views for videos about Biden in the time frame, 5.7 million about Bernie Sanders, 4.5 million for Andrew Yang and 2.9 million for Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders controlled their own narratives post-debate as the top creators for videos about their respective candidacies, however, the same wasn’t true for all candidates. Kamala Harris wasn’t among the top five creators for videos about her candidacy, nor were Elizabeth Warren or Andrew Yang for theirs.

The most-viewed videos about top Democratic candidates from Sept. 12-16:

  1. Bernie Sanders: Bernie Just Shut Down the Debate About Medicare For All (Instagram)
  2. The Daily Show: Houston Democratic Debate (Facebook)
  3. Joe Biden: Barack Obama Was a Great President. We Don’t Say That Enough (Twitter)
  4. The Daily Show: Houston Democratic Debate (Instagram)

The fourth Democratic Candidate Debate will take place from October 15-16 at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Qualifying rules mean 10 candidates from the third debate will be invited to the stage for the event — which airs on CNN. Additional candidates could be added if they meet minimum thresholds for donors and polling by October 1.