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While fewer than half of all registered voters bothered to show up at the polls Tuesday (more on that below), TV coverage of the 2018 midterm elections still managed to put up the sort of ratings you'd expect to see in a country that fully participates in the democratic process.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, some 32.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the primetime election results across cable news channels Fox News, CNN and MSNBC and broadcast nets NBC, ABC and CBS. If the combined audience for the six networks had been watching the same programming, Tuesday night's overall deliveries would qualify the midterms coverage as the year's sixth most-watched program, trailing only Super Bowl LII, the State of the Union Address and three NFL playoff games.

Toss in the incremental deliveries served up by Hispanic nets Univision and Telemundo and the non-ad-supported PBS, and Tuesday's election average creeps up to 36.1 million viewers.

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