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Fox News Debate Numbers Were Huge. Yuuuge!

No Trump, no problem.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Fox News Channel would like you to know its GOP presidential candidates debate numbers were, well, huge!

Thursday night’s broadcast attracted 12.5 million total viewers, making it the second-highest-rated telecast in the network’s history, Fox said. So, take that, Donald Trump. It was also, for the record, about half the audience the network attracted with its first Republican debate in August — and the second smallest audience of the seven GOP debates.

The Republican front-runner snubbed the forum, after Fox News refused to withdraw anchor Megyn Kelly as one of the debate’s moderators. Trump claimed she had been “unfair” in her questioning of him last summer, when Kelly asked him about his treatment of women and his characterization of those he dislikes as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

Trump said he decided to boycott the debate after Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes penned a tongue-in-cheek statement that jokingly questioned how the candidate would handle President Vladimir Putin of Russia or Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran if he couldn’t handle questions from Kelly.

The real estate mogul turned to Twitter to predict that his absence would result in anemic ratings for the Fox News’ forum. Apparently, not so much.

Updated: Still, the audience for the seventh of the GOP presidential debates was substantially smaller than the Aug. 6 Fox News broadcast, which attracted 24 million viewers, according to the Los Angeles Tines. Fox Business’ more recent Republican candidates debate, in which Trump participated, Fox Business brought an audience of 11 million.

This article originally appeared on

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