Recapping the VP debate


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):

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