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The First 2012 Presidential Debate As Seen Through Social Media

Ann Marie Taepke.

Last night was America's first opportunity to witness 2012 presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, go head to head in a debate. In addition to being a critical moment in the election, the debate also proved to be a defining moment for social media as a platform for political expression. As Alicia M. Cohn of The Hill wrote, this was the "first presidential debate where both campaigns will be in engaged in a virtual showdown on Twitter."

And what a showdown it was. While the candidates calmly presented their arguments in an auditorium at the University of Denver, Twitter and Facebook users waged a somewhat more humorous, and less polite, battle online. By our count, there were over 7.6 million mentions of the debate on October 3rd with women leading the conversation on Twitter, contributing 55 percent of all posts.

For a more in-depth look at last night’s social media activity, check out the following infographic and decide for yourself, Who Is Commander in Tweet?

Presidential Debate Twitter

Artwork by: Dave Ryan and Bob Perman

Copy by: Caroline Monday

Insights & Analytics by: Bryce Davis, Heather Romaine, and Ken Tebo

Monitoring by: Scott Briggs, Claire Colleran, and Win Pratt


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4 thoughts on “The First 2012 Presidential Debate As Seen Through Social Media

  1. Jenna Markowski

    This is an excellent breakdown, and one of the only infographics about the debates that actually adds value to the discussion! I was waiting for someone to provide a wordcloud about the debate discussion. Great work, Ignite. Thanks for this insightful rundown of the Twitter activity last night!

  2. Jenna Markowski

    This is an excellent breakdown, and one of the only infographics about the debates that actually adds value to the discussion! I was waiting for someone to provide a wordcloud about the debate discussion. Great work, Ignite. Thanks for this insightful rundown of the Twitter activity last night!

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