In the second presidential debate, President Obama and Governor Romney were combative and forceful, as both sought to find flaws in their opponent’s record. Improving on his previous performance, President Obama was viewed as the debate’s winner, although many saw the candidates as fairly evenly-footed during the debate. Each came off as rude or disrespectful at times to some viewers in the large television audience.
Likewise, we found mixed reaction on the candidates’ performances from viewers using social media.
Capturing over 13,000,000 opinions on Twitter, Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ platform sifted through the nuance of the conversation to highlight what about each candidate’s performance resonated most with viewers.
While many say that President Obama won the night’s debate, many tweeted during and directly following the debate to express disappointment about his first term in office. Despite his strong showing – 13% of the conversation commented that the president noticeably more energized during this debate than the last – 21% commented that President Obama hasn’t kept his promises of four years ago.
Governor Romney had his own troubles. 19% of the conversation expressed that he lied and stretched the truth during the debate. 11% of the conversation commented that Romney interrupted the moderator and his debate partner, and 6% remarked that he failed to directly answer the debate questions. Although this segment of the conversation found his style rude or off-putting, 8% said Romney has the right direction for the country, while 7% said the same about Obama.
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The moderator, Candy Crowley, was also a significant topic of conversation. 4% of the conversation expressed that she moderated the debate well, although 5% thought she had a bias toward Obama. Some of the posts claiming Crowley was biased referred to real-time fact-checking Governor Romney’s remark about President Obama’s statements on the killing of American personnel in Libya.
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