Palin-Biden debate outdrew Obama-McCain by 40 percent

Whether you adore her as an outsider bringing a whiff of real life to the campaign or scorn her as the Tina Fey bubblehead of Saturday Night Live, one thing is clear: With the presidential election just a month away, Sarah Palin is the star attraction.

Her faceoff with Joe Biden Thursday night drew a whopping 70 million viewers, according to Nielsen — the biggest audience in the history of vice-presidential debates and almost 40 percent bigger than the one that watched the Obama-McCain presidential debate last month.

Of the major TV markets, Baltimore -- where 59 percent of television households tuned in — showed the most interest. Los Angeles was the least impressed — only 34 percent of TV households watched.

Only about 52 million people watched the first debate between Barrack Obama and John McCain last Friday, making it the least-watched first debate since presidential matchups were televised.