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Obama Speech Ratings Down From '08, But Top Romney

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NEW YORK — President Barack Obama can beat rival Mitt Romney as a television draw, but can't eclipse his old self.

The Nielsen company said 35.7 million people watched the final night of the Democratic convention on Thursday between 10 and 11 p.m. Eastern time. That's when the president delivered his nomination acceptance speech.

Last week, Mitt Romney had 30.3 million viewers for his speech at the GOP convention, with an assist from Clint Eastwood.

Four years ago, Nielsen said candidate Barack Obama's speech was seen by 38.3 million. But that estimate did not include PBS' audience, which no doubt pushed the audience over 40 million.

Even though NBC did not show the second night of this year's convention due to a football game, loyal viewers returned to Brian Williams for the final night. NBC's coverage was seen by 7.38 million viewers on Thursday.

CNN was second with 5.56 million viewers, MSNBC had 4.55 million, ABC had 4 million, PBS had 3.86 million, CBS had 3.29 million and Fox News Channel had 2.86 million, Nielsen said.

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