Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bloomberg WaPo GOP Debate Statistics on Candidate Talking Time

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Out with the old and in with the...old? Back by popular demand, Mitt Romney was the man of the hour, nearly doubling the talking time of the nearest candidate Rick Perry. Speaking for 16:10 (mm:ss), Mitt Romney's face-time took up over 25% of the total time given to candidates for talking. Rick Perry, with 8:49 (and still good enough for 2nd most spoken), has truly fallen from grace when no one is taking shots at him anymore, 0 responses, as opposed to the 4 responses from the last debate with Fox. Also, he's not garnering the most opportunities to speak, 11, though still getting better treatment than some such as Ron Paul, who only had 5 turns talking, 1 of which he self-created.

In terms of polling, Romney, Cain, Perry and Paul are the only consistent candidates polling in double digits, with Perry quickly spiraling down in recent polls. However, rather than letting Ron Paul speak the philosophy that's garnered such a huge following, there were two entire segments where he did not speak at all, waiting 26 minutes and 30 seconds between turns talking. I guess the economy isn't the only sector living in a bubble.

Romney was the biggest winner, statistically speaking, by receiving a whopping 18 talking opportunities, 6 of which were followups from the moderators. In terms of fleshing out the newest storyline, however, Herman Cain joined the pack of lead dogs by getting ahead of Perry in turns talking (14) and a number of opponents' attacks prompted 3 responses and 3 followups in addition to his 9 direct questions, overall talking for 7:36, which is 4th overall, behind Romney, Perry and Bachmann (8:17).

Who waited the most between pontifications? Rick Santorum, thankfully, waiting nearly 15 minutes on average. Behind Santorum Huntsman and Ron Paul waited 11:48 and 11:38, respectively.

However, why Huntsman, Santorum and Gingrich are still in these debates is beyond me. The lifeless corpse of their campaigns shows they have no funds, and they have no following. The 17 minutes of time talking they took could have been better used by speaking to the people who are raising money and polling well. Not that Cain is raising any money, but at least he's got a few weeks before he's forgotten again in the polls.

Either stick with the "this is any man's game" theme, and let Gary Johnson in as well, or delete them from the debates. The stats show you're picking our frontrunners for us, and giving the illusion that Paul deserves less talking time than Gingrich, Huntsman and Bachmann, who are all polling behind him.

For a debate revolving around economics and politics, there wasn't a lot of math or thought involved. On second thought, that is the theme of our government, so maybe it's a highly evolved satirical take? Well played Bloomberg, you almost fooled me.

Here are the Debate Statistics:

Total Talk %
Romney 0:16:10 25.63%
Perry 0:08:49 13.98%
Bachmann 0:08:17 13.13%
Cain 0:07:36 12.05%
Gingrich 0:06:19 10.02%
Huntsman 0:05:47 9.17%
Ron Paul 0:05:13 8.27%
Santorum 0:04:53 7.74%
Total 1:03:04 100.00%
*Note: This is uninterrupted talking time, except for audience cheer/applause in the middle of a response as this goes against their official response time. Does not include moderators' time for questions/interactions.

Turns Talking %
Romney 18 24.00%
Cain 14 18.67%
Perry 11 14.67%
Bachmann 8 10.67%
Huntsman 8 10.67%
Gingrich 6 8.00%
Ron Paul 5 6.67%
Santorum 5 6.67%
Total 75 100.00%

Avg b/w Talks Longest Wait
Santorum 0:14:48 0:24:28
Huntsman 0:11:48 0:25:52
Ron Paul 0:11:38 0:26:30
Gingrich 0:09:26 0:29:02
Bachmann 0:07:39 0:13:44
Perry 0:06:15 0:20:06
Cain 0:05:23 0:15:35
Romney 0:04:47 0:14:43

Questions Responses Followups
Romney 11 2 6
Perry 9 0 3
Cain 9 3 3
Bachmann 7 0 1
Ron Paul 4 1 0
Gingrich 4 2 0
Huntsman 4 2 2
Santorum 3 1 1
Total 51 11 16
*Note: Followups are moderators asking for another response directly after a question. Responses are candidates taking shots at each other, with the exception of Gingrich responding unprompted twice to no one in particular, and Paul once as well.

Are these numbers what you were hoping for, or was your candidate slighted? Shout out in the comments.


Anon123 said...

I was about to run these numbers for myself, but then a search pulled up your wonderful blog. These numbers are infuriating, and I can't believe that Americans are so blind that they do not see the obvious bias being shown towards some candidates. Thank you for taking the time to count all of this out and share it with the us!

Wes Hemings said...

Thanks, the Blackout continues, for now. I think after last night's CNN debate Herman Cain may be nearly finished riding the top of the charts. Romney is looking like a mainstay for the long run, but maybe some new blood in the press is forthcoming.

daniel said...

Why is Ron Paul not getting fair treatment? I am going to vote for him just because of this!

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