Thursday night's Donald Trump-free debate was the second lowest rated Republican presidential debate this election cycle, according to Nielsen ratings reported by CNN.
The primetime debate drew 12.5 million viewers between 9 and 11 p.m., more than the 11 million that tuned in to the Fox Business Network Republican debate earlier in January but falling far short of the network's blockbuster debate in August that drew 25 million viewers.
Although the debate was one of the lowest-rated forums, more people watched the debate than tuned into Trump's fundraiser for veterans. Only about a quarter of the number of homes that watched the Thursday debate watched CNN and MSNBC's coverage of Trump's event, according to CNN.
This post has been updated.