December 16, 2015 1:29 PM EST

Tuesday night’s Republican debate was likely the third most-watched presidential primary debate of all time, with an average of 18 million viewers.

The broadcast beat GOP debates from October and November, which each saw about 14 million viewers on average, but came in behind the current record-holders, according to CNN: Fox News’ August debate, which averaged 25 million, and CNN’s September debate, which averaged 24 million.

The numbers reflect a big spike in interest since the last presidential election: On Dec. 15, 2011, a Fox News Republican primary debate averaged only 6.7 million viewers.

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