Bernie Sanders captured 43 percent of all the media chatter during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, followed by Hillary Clinton with 33 percent. Jim Webb was a solid third place, earning more mentions than both Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley combined.
According to separate data released by Facebook, the Vermont senator was the most discussed candidate on the social media platform. And the most social moment of the debate on Facebook was when he came to Clinton’s defense over her private e-mail server. “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” he said.
The Washington Post’s campaign analytics partner, Zignal Labs, tracked more than 2.2 million mentions of the Democratic debate during the two-hour event. Here’s a breakdown of the mentions for each of the five candidates on stage:
This annotated chart shows some of the debate highlights. Note how Sanders played in each of the three biggest moments of the night. His line about the former Secretary of State’s e-mail prompted the largest spike for both frontrunners. And his praise of Webb’s war record led to the former Virginia senator’s biggest social media moment.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s decision to “live tweet” the debate earned him the media attention he craves. While not cracking the top two, Trump received more media mentions during the debate than the three lesser-known Democrats:
Here’s a look at the most written and Tweeted about issues during the debate:
And here’s the word cloud to chart what people were saying about the debate:
What about Joe? Biden was out of sight, but not totally out of mind for debate followers. There were more than 34,000 Biden mentions, less than O’Malley, but still significant.
As for the GOP field, Mike Huckabee’s Tweet about North Koreans eating dogs got some attention.
Otherwise, even with Trump in the mix, it was pretty quiet:
The most engaged state on Facebook during the two-hour debate was Sanders’ home state of Vermont. Second was neighboring New Hampshire, home of the first in the nation primary. Maryland, O’Malley’s home state, was third. Rhode Island, Chafee’s home state, was fourth. Virginia, Webb’s home state, was fifth, tied with Nevada, the site of the debate.
The top issues discussed during the debate on Facebook, according to a spokesman:
- Racial Issues
- The Economy
- Government Ethics
- Environment/Energy Policy
The ranking of the top candidates discussed during the debate on Facebook