At the same time as Canada’s first election debate on August 6, 2015,  the United States’ Republican Party held its first candidate’s debate. Canadians loved it. We tracked more than 40,000 tweets about that debate originating in Canada, meanwhile there were only 21,000 tweets about our own debate!

After our own election it seem we’ve lost interest in American politics. November 10, was the fourth Republican candidate debate and only 524 Canadians shared social mentions. For all 524 of you, here’s our social analysis of that debate.

For a debate about the economy, the Fox Business and Wall Street Journal Republican presidential candidate debate covered a lot of ground on immigration and foreign policy.

Using Visible Intelligence, Cision’s social media monitoring and analysis tool, we measured more than 867,000 tweets related to the fourth GOP Debate between 3:50 p.m. ET on November 10 and 6 a.m. ET on November 11.

Here are some insights from this data:

Frontrunners lose ground to the field?

Click to enlarge.

Politico reported that Ted Cruz spoke the most. The loquacious senator from Texas started the evening in fourth place in terms of social share of voice, controlling 13.3 percent. After 13 minutes and 35 seconds of speaking time, Cruz’s post-debate share of voice reached 17.7 percent, 1.7 percentage points more than Donald Trump who had the next most.

However, it wasn’t just speaking time that swayed the masses. Though former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had the fourth and sixth most speaking time, respectively, they saw the biggest gains of the eight candidates in social share of voice. While Fiorina raised her share of voice 7.4 percentage points to 10 percent, Paul’s performance pushed his up five percentage points to 12 percent.

The latest national McClatchy/Marist poll coming into the debate showed Ben Carson (24 percent), Trump (23 percent) and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (12 percent) leading the field. They also held the lion’s share of social mentions, but they saw a decline in their share of voice after the debate.

Carson slipped from 21.7 percent to 13.9 percent, Trump dropped from 20.4 percent to 16 percent, and Rubio went from controlling 21.1 percent to 13.2 percent.

It’s worth noting that Trump, Rubio and Carson had the third, fifth and least amount of speaking time, respectively.

Speaking time Beginning of Debate Post Debate
Cruz 13:35 13.3% 17.7%
Kasich 11:51 7.6% 8.3%
Trump 11:19 20.4% 16%
Fiorina 11:00 2.6% 10%
Rubio 10:20 21.1% 13.2%
Paul 10:06 7% 12%
Bush 9:50 6.3 8.2
Carson 9:22 21.7% 13.9%

Other findings



Social handles in the South Atlantic region of the U.S. shared the most messages with more than 100,000 tweets. The Mid-Atlantic and Pacific were the only other of the nine regions to have more than 60,000 tweets.

The New England and East South Central regions had the least amount of tweets about the debate with approximately 40,000 combined tweets.



The concerns of the 1,413 Twitter authors who we determined to be parents centered on defending children, families and women.

Before the the debate, more than 75 percent of tweets about pre-selected major campaign issues focused on the economy. After the debate, the economy accounted for 52.1 percent of the discussion. Social mentions of immigration (15 percent), the Middle East (13.2 percent), healthcare (10 percent) and foreign policy (6.2 percent) all saw increases .




About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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