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.

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, and Hillary Clinton stand on stage before the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Thursday, April 14, 2016, New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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