Twitter reactions to the debate

This is a repost from my official blog on statesman.com (which I rarely use).
Last night, the presidential debate was the hot topic among TV pundits. It also was the talk on Twitter. Before, during and after the candidates’ second primetime test, people were commenting and sharing opinions on Twitter, a free-to-use microblogging service.

Using our newspaper account, @statesman, I asked Twitter users after the debate who they thought had won. I received several responses, and most had thought that Sen. Barack Obama had won the debate. Obama has a longstanding presence on Twitter — as of this morning, his official Twitter account has more than 94,000 followers. That’s how many people have signed up to read short (140 characters-or-less) dispatches from the candidate’s campaign. Obama’s campaign has had a presence on Twitter since the early days of his campaign and has sent out 221 updates through the service. Sen. John McCain’s official account has only 2,500 followers, though his campaign didn’t get on Twitter until a few weeks ago and has only sent 12 updates through Twitter.

The responses I received immediately after last night’s debate included nine people who thought Obama had won, two who thought McCain had won, and six people who thought neither candidate had won.

Be aware that this is very, very unofficial and just meant to be a look at responses to me (from among hundreds or perhaps thousands just in the Austin area) who were Twittering about the debate.

Twitter user @RichardAZ said, “Obama just comes across as a lot more ‘together,’ score one for calm and statesman-like.”

@jmerriman said, “‘That one’ won the debate”, a reference to a moment in the debate when McCain called Obama “that one.”

Here are the other responses from those who liked Obama:

@mike_miley Obama won. He sounded like the Coach where McCain sounded like a lineman

@captspastic Obama, easily. McCain sounded either nervous, or sick through the first 3rd of the debate.

@twirm I think Obama won because he addressed more questions with answers from his campaign, McCain seemed to just bash and tell stories

@andreslucero Obama criticized mccain’s views w/o going off the hook, while mccain lashed out in his usual cranky way (i.e. “that one”).

@pambaggett Buy up bad mortgages? How much would *that* cost. No holocaust, but Rwanda’s OK? Healthcare is a responsibility, not a right?

@dangdaniel What is a tiller and why does it need a cool hand?

@shaktiboy Obama won because of healthcare. They both lost at foreign policy: where will the money come from to implement their hawkishness?

Responses from those who thought McCain had won:

@travisfell McCain won b/c he rightly associated Obama with the subprime mess and continued his foreign policy mastery

@RobbieCooperATX McCain won because he stood on his record and was clear on the way ahead. Obama has/did neither.

And those who didn’t see a clear winner:

@tlpayne A tie

@abelcruiz No candidate proved to “win” the debate. If I had to pick a winner, Tom Browkaw. He seemed to keep them in check all night.

@junewild I am completely dissatisfied with the debate and remain undecided. Nothing’s compelling. Flip a coin? What use is my education?

@clarkdebonair I have no idea who won the debate. What is an undecided person to do?

@lua21 No one won the debate, we all lost

@inbodyd It is irrelevant. Data shows that few are swayed by debates. The issue is whether voters will turnout not who they vote for.
Thanks to all who responded!

If you aren’t on Twitter already, you should check it out (and follow our statesman and Austin360.com accounts, if you’d like). It’s a great way to interact with our community.

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