Washington Daybook: The Whole World is Watching

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are seen at the Lavanderia coin laundry in Miami during their televised debate.

OK. The whole world wasn’t watching, though President Barack Obama can be forgiven for thinking it was. Some 67.2 million viewers tuned in Wednesday to watch his subdued — many say weak — debate performance, 28 percent more than watched the first presidential face-off four years ago.

Coverage on ABC drew 11.3 million viewers, the most of any network, while Fox News averaged 10.4 million viewers to lead cable networks, according to Nielsen data.

Obama campaigns in Virginia and Ohio today, seeking to regain his footing against his Republican challenger. Mitt Romney will try to maintain his momentum at rallies in Virginia and Florida today. Romney may benefit from a Labor Department report that is expected to show the U.S. jobless rate rose last month as employers limited hiring.

Also today, the Federal Communications Commission probably will continue to require cable companies such as Time Warner Cable Inc. to share regional sports networks with competitors such as DirecTV and Dish Network Corp. as a rule requiring such cooperation lapses at midnight.

The U.S. overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, planning for the day when the companies are eliminated or have their role diminished, is seeking input on a system to standardize the packaging of home loans into securities.

And NASA holds a Google Plus Hangout to discuss the first contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station, with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

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