Airtime and speaking opp o rtunities Analysis of the Western Republican Presidential Debate
The Debate <ul><li>On the 18th of last month a debate took place between 7 Republican candidates in the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. </li></ul><ul><li>The seven candidates in order of appearance: </li></ul><ul><li>Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann </li></ul><ul><li>the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Governor Rick Perry </li></ul><ul><li>former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney </li></ul><ul><li>the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Congressman Ron Paul </li></ul><ul><li>and the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum. </li></ul>
Anderson Cooper: <ul><li>” I’ll be the moderator. I’ll ask questions on a wide range of issues. And I’ll work to make sure that each candidate is getting his or her fair share of questions. ” </li></ul><ul><li>” Also, Western voters right here in the hall will be asking questions, as well, and viewers watching at home can participate, also. ” </li></ul><ul><li>” Now, each candidate will have about one minute to answer the questions and 30 seconds for follow-ups and rebuttals. I’ll make sure candidates get time to respond if they’re singled out for criticism. There are no buzzers. There’s no bells. I’ll just politely inform the candidates when they need to wrap things up. ” </li></ul>
The Outcome <ul><li>(Reuters) - A confident Mitt Romney criticized his Republican rivals and fended off attacks on Tuesday at a feisty debate that could help reinstall him as the party's presidential front-runner. </li></ul><ul><li>(The Washington Post) Mitt Romney : It wasn’t his best debate but, as usual, the former Massachusetts governor found ways to come across as forceful and presidential. </li></ul><ul><li>(CBS News) Romney was the dominant presence in the evening's event - and he didn't pull his punches. </li></ul><ul><li>( CBS News) Santorum manage to get a lot of airtime for a candidate who once said he likes to be at the "back of the pack." </li></ul>
The Study <ul><li>The aim of the study is to identify the candidates who spoke the most in the debate, and show how the disparity developed. The assumption of the researcher is that the opportunity to speak can contribute to the perceived performance of a candidate. T he study will give a detailed account of the speaking opportunities each candidate had, and a specification on how they used it. </li></ul>However, it’s still necessary for being nominated in the first place.
The research process <ul><li>Transcript was validated. </li></ul><ul><li>The words uttered and the the speaking opportunities were counted. </li></ul><ul><li>S peaking opportunities were sequestered into three categories: answering the moderator’s questions, responding to being referenced and cut-ins . </li></ul><ul><li>T he average length of each speaking opportunity w as determined . </li></ul><ul><li>In the last step the connections between each candidate was mapped: who referenced whom, between who did reciprocal disputes develop. </li></ul>
Santorum Romney Perry Gingrich Bachmann Cain Paul Figure 3. References and disputes.
Conclusion <ul><li>Despite being the recipient of relatively few questions asked by the moderator, Mitt Romney spoke the most by far. This is fundamentally the result of the other candidates’ practice of referencing him. Rick Santorum managed to be prominent in the debate by being argumentative and cutting-in more than anybody else. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other side of the spectrum Michele Bachmann, who probably felt left out, even tried to appeal to the moderator several times. The other candidates seemingly ignored Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul was the least argumentative, and committed zero cut-ins. As a result, these candidates had less airtime than their rivals did, with a possible negative effect on their perceived performance. </li></ul>