Buzz Remained High as the Baton Passed on to Running Mates

The first vice president of the United States, John Adams, famously described the job of the vice president as “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived.” My, how times have changed and evolved. The office of the vice president has grown substantially in power, influence and importance, particularly at the turn of the century. Running mates do more than just balance the party ticket geographically, ideologically and personally. Presidents have come to rely on the vice president for council in matters of national security and foreign policy more over the years as the scope of these challenges has broadened. And over the course of U.S. history, 14 vice presidents have gone on to become presidents.

About 51 million people tuned into the vice-presidential debates last Thursday night, which is not too far down from the 67 million people that tuned into the first presidential debate for this election season, back on October 3rd. The square-off between Republican running mate, Paul Ryan and current vice president, Joe Biden surrounded taxes, Medicare, national security, foreign policy and more.

ORC’s Social Buzz data shows that Joe Biden was mentioned in 35% more conversations online following the debate and he had almost double (2.1 million) the mentions of Paul Ryan (1.2 million) over the course of the debate. Around 8PM, as the conversations began in anticipation for the 9PM debate, Paul Ryan was mentioned slightly more frequently than Joe Biden. This is likely due to the fact that Ryan is the newcomer, while the public has already seen Biden debate back in 2008 and is familiar with him in his role as Vice President.   Hence, the general public had an idea of what to expect from him. But by 10PM, Biden was ahead of the game with the online mentions. Some amusing mentions included Joe Biden’s laughs and Paul Ryan’s frequent sips of water. Interestingly enough, Paul Ryan attracted a little over 1,000 more new followers on Twitter than Joe Biden during and immediately following the debate.

Moderator, Martha Raddatz was also a topic of online chatter, receiving much higher praise than the previous week’s moderator, Jim Lehrer. The positive sentiment was generated by her composure, candor and emphasis on facts. In light of this, Social Buzz data was filtered to showcase how the online world reacted to Ryan and Biden and just their sole performance at Thursday night’s debate.

Social Buzz data displays online sentiment surrounding Paul Ryan going from 54% positive to 51% and Joe Biden’s going from 60% positive to 54%. There was a slightly similar shift for Biden back in 2008 after his debate with then Republican running mate, Sarah Palin. He went from 64% positive in online sentiment to 56% following the debate. Just like during the presidential debate, the public made note of mannerisms, expressions and character just as much as they jotted the facts.









The sentiment shifts were largely attributed to biased news sources on both sides as well as voters lashing out at the opposing party. Extrapolating from the pulled data, it also resulted from both political camps seemingly standing by watching as they would a boxing match. Each jab was made louder, each move was calculated and tallied and the fitness level was boasted, a little more than during the first presidential debate.

The post-debate CNN|ORC International poll showed 48% of viewers declaring Paul Ryan as the winner of the debate compared to 44% for Biden – essentially a draw. Both candidates bring different but equally interesting balances to their party’s tickets. Ryan is savvy, stands firmly on his beliefs and speaks with conviction. Biden is a straight shooter and has been around Washington most of his adult life and speaks through that experience. How much does this even matter? Well, of course, the running mate assumes the position of Chief Executive in the event of an untimely loss of a president. Although people aren’t voting for vice presidents at the ballot box, they care about how presidential of an appeal a running mate has as well, because the chosen team will be expected to balance each other out while functioning as a single entity.

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Politics, Social Listening

Author:Tameka Vasquez

Tameka is the Marketing Communications Coordinator at ORC International. ORC International is a leading global market research firm. We specialize in research related to Customer Equity, Employee Engagement, Business & Market Expansion and Product Development & Innovation. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: