Looks like the crowded Democratic debates on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo did quite well in the Nielsen ratings this week. People are already paying close attention to the campaign, it turns out, as the party prepares to put a candidate up against Donald Trump next year.

On Wednesday, 15.3 million tuned in for the first round, which featured Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and the gang. That’s a big number, especially since it doesn’t include streaming viewership. It nearly broke the record set in 2015, when the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders drew 15.5 million.

The second night, with Joe Biden, Sanders, and Kamala Harris, also known as Food Fight Night, actually did break the record. On Thursday, 18.1 million viewers watched, not including those who streamed. It was the most watched Democratic primary debate in history.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.