The $3 million that Barack Obama's campaign paid to run last night's campaign ad on eight networks was a drop in the bucket, but did the gamble pay off in viewers? Click to find out. Hint: he outdid Ross Perot's rating.As weird as it was to see Obama turn into Stone Phillips, the presentation was a relatively innocuous portrait of Americans struggling and the man who claims he can help them. The ad scored with viewers, who made it the most highly rated presidential ad buy in history. The early rating had to make the campaign happy: the half-hour ad scored a combined 17.8/29 (household rating/share) before Game 5 of the World Series on Fox. It bested the numbers of that game (the conclusion of the aborted Game 5 managed a decent 13.1/20) and most other regular programming. Since ABC's Pushing Daises did its usual poor number, most of the folks who watched the ad may have stuck with it rather than changing the channel. The real question is whether the major audience was supporters tuning in for a glimpse of their favorite celebrity, or undecided voters who can be swayed by that kind of feel-good propaganda. With the narrow focus on economic issues, you can bet the campaign was hoping that single issue voter constituted good chunk of that 17.8 rating. UPDATE: Final numbers are out. All told the entire audience was 33.6 million viewers, with NBC drawing 9.8 million alone.