The 2012 Vice Presidential Debate as Seen Through Social Media

If last week’s first Presidential Debate was the NCAA Basketball Championship, then last night’s debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan was, at best, the post-season NIT. The candidates started out polite but quickly became more aggressive, only to be sobered in the end by sentimental questions from the moderator. Despite a 23% drop in mentions, the Twitter world maintained a high standard for comedy and satire. As Twitter was quick to point out, Rep. Ryan kept well hydrated while VP Joe Biden found amusement in nearly everything. The conversation peaked at a rate of 58,275 tweets per minute, when the Vice President said, “Now you’re Jack Kennedy?”

Both campaigns proved to be socially capable: The Romney/Ryan bill maintained healthy but unobtrusive live tweets, and, as Mashable pointed out, the Obama Campaign quickly scooped up sponsored tweets over popular hashtags like #malarkey and #VPDebate. Moderator Martha Raddatz was also a topic of online chatter, receiving much higher praise than her predecessor from last week, Jim Lehrer.

Major news networks joined in the social media conversation as well. The chart below shows their activity, compared to the Oct. 3 presidential debate.

Trending topics were innumerable and ranged from Ryan’s widow’s peak to #zings. For more information on the social media world’s take on hot debate topics, have a look at our visual representation below.

Artwork by: Nicole Mapp and Bob Perman

Copy by: Caroline Monday and Win Pratt

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

Monitoring by: Scott Briggs, Claire Colleran, and Ann Marie Taepke

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