Recapping the VP debate

Friday, 12 October 2012

Tonight Vice President Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) and Rep. Paul Ryan (@PaulRyanVP) squared off for the quadrennial Vice Presidential debate. Citizens tuned in to watch or listen and tweet, sharing their opinions on the evening’s exchanges. In total, 4 million Tweets were sent concerning tonight’s debate, 3.5 million of which occurred during the 92 minutes of live action.

Of those 4 million Tweets, 26% were about foreign policy; 21% discussed the economy; and 16% were regarding taxes. However, several of the moments that inspired the most Tweets per minute were quips the candidates made. Tonight’s top Tweets per minute (TPM) peaks were:

  • Biden: “Now you’re Jack Kennedy?” (58,275 TPM)
  • Ryan: “They got caught with their hand in the cookie jar turning Medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare.” (55,540 TPM)
  • Biden discussing the timeline for leaving Afghanistan (54,944)

The full timeline of conversation and notable moments can be seen below (click to enlarge):

Recapping the VP debate

While the unexpected star of the Presidential debate turned out to be Big Bird, tonight’s buzzword was malarkey, which generated more than 30,000 Tweets. Another notable figure of the evening: moderator Martha Raddatz (@MarthaRaddatz), Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent for ABC. Viewers expressed their delight in her moderating skills:

Political insiders and pundits closely followed the discussion and shared their views:

Where were the Presidential candidates while their running mates debated in Danville? Twitter was full of pictures showing how the campaigns and tonight’s VIPs experienced the debate:

We’ll be back again in just five days for next Tuesday’s town hall debate between the @BarackObama and @MittRomney.

Posted by Adam Sharp (@adams)
Head of Government, News and Social Innovation