Twitter Presidential Debates: Sept 26

UPDATE: McCain has committed to join.

Why: Why let the media pundits and political analysts have all the fun? You can now be an armchair critic, all you need is a twitter account, a TV, and internet access.

[On the first Presidential Debate on Sept 26, 2008, YOU get to be the armchair political analyst and use Twitter to score the candidates]

What is it: With the success of the previous Twitter SuperBowl ads rating last Jan, let’s repeat this community based voting event for the upcoming presidential debates, this time, you’re in charge.

9PM Eastern. September 26, 2008: Presidential debate with domestic policy focus, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. More details available from the commission of Presidential Debate.

You’re the judge! In your opinion, score points to the two candidates and tweet it

A) Score the candidates ability to debate
Using twitter, you can score the candidates with this handy scoring guide.

-3 for a personal attack
-2 for a false statement
-1 for avoiding the issue, or not answering the question
+1 for a successful assertion
+2 for a successful counterpoint to opponents assertion
+3 Quotable sound bite

B) Use Twitter to tell the world (use the hash tag)

Example: A proper tweet is: “Mccain +1 for articulating his energy policy #tweetdebate”

Example: A proper tweet is: “Obama -3 for calling McCain an old fart #tweetdebate”

Example: A proper tweet is: “Mccain +3 for great line: “It’s the economy stupid” #tweetdebate”

C) See what everyone else is saying

A good practice is to open another tab on your browser, and watch what others are saying on twitter search, tagged with the keyword #tweetdebate.

D) After the Debate, Tally your score, then leave a comment
At the end of the debate, count up your score, your twitter handle, then leave a comment on this post.
Tip: Enter your score into a spreadsheet in real time, saving you time to tally.

My twitter handle is

Obama scored a total +25 and McCain scored a total of +26

Then create a percentage: Obama scored 49% and Mccain 51%

Then soak in your glory of being a true armchair political analyst (and argue the scoring of the other twitter pundits)

Future Debates: Come back to this site for discussions

  • October 2, 2008: Vice Presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • October 7, 2008: Presidential debate in a town hall format, Belmont University, Nashville, TN
  • October 15, 2008:Presidential debate with foreign policy focus, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Despite that I work at a research firm, this event is entirely for entertainment, and some education, and won’t be used in any formal studies –have fun.

    Input from Zack Reiss-Davis

    Post Event Findings:
    The game started out with folks scoring as suggested above, but soon, the scoring became pretty lax, then many just used it as a way to track conversations. Current TV was showing tweets live on TV, which at one point, overwhelmed their system, resulting in no tweets showing. Twitter’s infrastructure withstood the onslought –I think they’re finally starting to see their opportunity as a major communication device.

    We started out strong scoring the sound bytes and assertions, but soon the threshold to score became too difficult. I suspect folks were also interested in Current TV, The Drinking Game, the Friendfeed debate room, or just used the tweetdebate tag to track all their responses. In any case it was all good –watching any event is no longer a lonely event –we participate and mainstream media is watching and adopting.

    tweetdebateA graph indicating the frequency of the term “#tweetdebate”