This evening, President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney engaged with citizens in a second “Town Hall”-styled Presidential debate. In this format, attendees adressed the candidates directly, asking about the issues that were important to them.
As the debate progressed, we tracked the keywords on Twitter which corresponded with citizen questions. Spikes in topic mentions per minute are displayed in the first chart below, highlighted with text descriptions. Twitter activity for “Women” tops the chart with a whopping peak of 24,170 Tweets per minute during discussion about discrimination in the workplace. This spike overshadows those of all other topics, including “Immigrants”, “China”, and even “Jobs”:
(click image for larger version and topic legend)
We also analyzed social sentiment on Twitter for Obama (“Obama” and @BarackObama) and Romney (“Romney” and @MittRomney). Though both candidates were in negative territory throughout most of the debate (perhaps due to uncomfortable interruptions and shouting matches with the moderator), Obama received a noticeable hike in sentiment during the “Women” discussion around 6:35 PDT:
We also thought it would be useful to figure out where people were discussing these topics. With the help of CartoDB, a geospatial cloud database, we mapped the Twitter discussion of all topics listed in the first chart by state, using % of all activity in each state as our comparative measure. As seen below, some important Swing states were heavily involved in the Twitter discussion around debate topics (Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, and New Hampshire):
(click image for interactive version)
In general, though the debate itself was filled with arguing, there’s no arguing with Twitter results: women’s issues have topped the charts and remain an important part of this Presidential race.