The seventh Republican presidential debate -- and the first one without Donald Trump -- has reached 12.5 million viewers.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., center, answers a question as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, right, listen during a Republican presidential primary debate, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Nielsen company said Thursday's debate on Fox News Channel ranked sixth among the seven GOP debates so far in viewership. Only the debate two weeks ago that was shown on the relatively little-watched Fox Business Network had fewer, with 11.1 million viewers.

Trump did not participate because of a feud with Fox News Channel and instead held a fundraiser for veterans nearby in Iowa.

It was the first debate held on Fox News since the first one in August, which was seen by 24 million people.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Sign up for the Newsletter

Get the best of delivered to your inbox every day.