Big Bird endangered? The real-time tweets and Facebook reaction to debate
The Obama vs. Romney presidential debate was the most tweeted event in U.S. political history. Hot Facebook and Twitter topics: Big Bird, Jim Lehrer, and Mitt Romney's victory.
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With 11.1 million comments, Wednesday's debate was the fourth most tweeted telecast of any kind, coming in just behind the most recent Grammy awards, MTV's Video Music Awards and the Super Bowl, according to William Powers, director of the Crowdwire, an election project of the social analytics firm Bluefin Labs. The project found 55 percent of the social comments about the debate were made by women, 45 percent by men.Skip to next paragraph
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Unlike the wider viewing audience, debate watchers who comment on social media "are politically engaged in the strongest possible way," Powers said. But, he added, "it's a bit of a hothouse population. It does skew younger, and I'm not sure how much middle America is represented."
Twitter scored Romney the debate's clear winner according to Peoplebrowsr, a web analytics firm. The group found 47,141 tweets mentioning Romney and "win or winner" compared to just 29,677 mentioning Obama and "win or winner."
In Ohio, a key swing state where polls show Obama has emerged with a lead in recent weeks, the top two debate tweets were "Romney" with 15,115 and "Mitt" with 5,446. "Obama" placed third with 5,328.
Search engine Google announced the debate's four most searched terms: Simpson-Bowles (the bipartisan fiscal commission Obama appointed); Dodd-Frank (a democratic-backed financial reform law); Who is Winning the Debate; and Big Bird.
The debate, focused on domestic issues, was a numbers-heavy discussion of the economy, debt and entitlement reform. It produced strong reactions on Twitter from its earliest moments, from the candidates' attire and appearance — "Obama: solid blue tie with dimple. Romney: red tie with stripes, no dimple," tweeted publisher Arianna Huffington — to Jenga, a stacking game Romney and his wife, Ann, were reportedly playing with their grandchildren before the debate began.
Obama supporters were some of his toughest critics. Andrew Sullivan, a pro-Obama writer for the Daily Beast whose Twitter feed, Sullydish, has a loyal following, declared, "This was a disaster for the president." Joe Mercurio, a New York media buyer, wrote on Facebook, "It could have been worse."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.