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Sarah Palin's speech draws an audience of 37 million

September 4, 2008 |  3:04 pm

More than 37 million people tuned in to watch Sarah Palin's speech to the Republican National Convention Wednesday night -- almost as many people as watched Barack Obama accept the Democratic nomination last Thursday, Nielsen Media reported today.

Palin's highly anticipated appearance drew a surge of nearly 16 million more viewers than the previous night of the GOP gathering. As we reported yesterday, only around 21.5 million people watched the Republicans on Tuesday night.

Today's Nielsen report is good news for the GOP, but it sets the bar high for John McCain's acceptance speech tonight. The numbers confirm what we determined earlier today: Palin is a hard act to follow.

(Note: The actual number of those tuning in to both Obama and Palin are higher than the Nielsen figures, which do not include PBS’s estimated 4 million viewers on those nights.)

-- Kate Linthicum

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