- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A high-stakes debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders drew an estimated 5.6 million viewers, a relatively small audience for this campaign season’s presidential debates.

The debate, aired by CNN, was marked by bitter clashes between the candidates who will face each other in New York’s primary contest Tuesday.

Thursday’s live telecast ranked No. 7 in viewership among other Democratic debates in the primary race, according to preliminary Nielsen company figures, the news channel said Friday.

The numbers have ranged widely, with the first Democratic debate in October drawing 15.8 million viewers and a February one netting an audience of 4.5 million.

There has been more consistent interest in the Republican debates, which have dropped in the ratings from an October high of 24 million but retained double-digit viewership.

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