Style versus Substance: It’s the VP Debate Recap

Last night at Centre College in Danville, KY Vice President Joe Biden faced off against Congressman Paul Ryan in the latest round of debates.  While last week’s 1st Presidential debate showed a clear winner both in opinions as well as the data, this debate was much closer.  Let’s jump into the data.

Social Analysis

There was a great divide last night not just in substance between the candidates but also which social networks drove referrals for each candidate.  If you were reading content about Paul Ryan during the 95 minutes the debate it most likely was found on Facebook.


However, if you were reading content about Joe Biden, then it was probably because you found that content on Twitter.


Top Social Moment

There was a tie for top social moment last night.  The first top moment was at 9:35P Eastern when Joe Biden pointed out that Paul Ryan sent letters requesting stimulus money and the second moment was at 9:56P Eastern when the candidates had an exchange about Jack Kennedy.


Style vs. Substance Social Mentions

Each candidate had high points and low points last night.  The top words associated with Paul Ryan last night were the letters he sent to President Obama requesting stimulus money for his district.

Biden’s buzz was around his laughing reaction to Ryan’s answers, but it was not just about Biden’s debating style.  Biden generated a lot of buzz with his comments on Jack Kennedy.

And the winner is …

The map is very balanced with Biden leading in mentions in the metropolitan areas while Paul Ryan took the lead in mentions in rural, midwest and southern states.

Click to enlarge.

It’s also worth mentioning the breakout star of the night … Martha Raddatz, the debate moderator! Unlike poor Jim Lehrer, who was (and still is) the punchline of jokes after his Presidential debate performance, Raddatz had a largely positive reception. In fact, our data shows that Martha had the highest social spike of the night, beating out both Biden and Ryan:

 Click to enlarge.

Less than 4 weeks to go until decision time.  Get the latest social stats from our special coverage section Election 2012. We’ll see you next Tuesday for the second Presidential debate.