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updated 10/8/2008 9:23:36 PM ET 2008-10-09T01:23:36

The second presidential debate drew more viewers than the first, but still proved less of a draw than the Joe Biden-Sarah Palin matchup.

A total of 63.2 million viewers watched Tuesday's debate in Nashville, Tenn., between Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday. The figure represents the collective audience for 11 networks.

The Obama-McCain debate on Sept. 26 was watched by 52.4 million viewers, while more than 70 million saw Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin's sole meeting on Oct. 2. It's the second most-watched political debate ever, behind the 80.6 million people who watched the 1980 Carter-Reagan debate.

Nielsen tallied viewership for Wednesday's debate on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.

The candidates' third and last debate is scheduled for Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in Hempsted, N.Y.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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