Saturday, September 24, 2011

GOP Debate at Orlando: Romney and Perry steal the stage (yet again)

Just as we saw in the Reagan Library and Tampa GOP debates earlier this month, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney enjoyed far more time to speak than the other candidates at the Orlando debate this Thursday.

Governor Gary Johnson was a new addition to the list of candidates in Orlando, though his presence may have been practically imperceptible,  having less than four and a half minutes to speak throughout the debate.

This time, Romney outspoke Perry, coming in the lead with over 12 minutes, three times the speaking time allocated to Johnson.  Second place winner Perry had over twice as much time to speak as second-to-last place candidate Ron Paul.

Herman Cain and Rick Santorum made progress compared to previous debates, moving from last and second-to-last place up to fifth and fourth place, respectively.

The other candidates in the middle each had between six and eight minutes to speak: Gingrich, Bachmann, and Huntsman.

Distribution of debate time
Following are the floor times I calculated for each candidate.  My notes on which this data is based are found below.  As with the previous debates, for each question asked to a candidate, I counted the time the candidate took to respond, including any dialog with the moderator during follow-up questions.

Candidate Debate time (min)
Romney 12.68
Perry 11.35
Huntsman 7.98
Santorum 7.52
Cain 6.55
Bachmann 6.23
Gingrich 6.07
Paul 4.82
Johnson 4.23

Contrast with the French socialist debate
I caught a glimpse of a French Socialist primary debate which was held on September 15.  While I did not watch the whole debate, I did notice that each candidate had the same amount of time to speak (give or take one minute).  Each of the six candidates had one minute to introduce themselves.  Then, each candidate had a 10 minute dialogue with a panel of reporters.  Finally, all candidates participated in a debate, with a timer in front of each candidate indicating the total time he or she had spoken.  It seems that the political ideologies of these two parties (from different countries) can be seen in the way they organize their debates.

Raw data

These notes are based on the debate video here.

Topic Candidate Start time End time
First half:

Small businesses – hiring new employees Perry 03:24:00 05:08:00
Romney 05:44:00 07:34:00
Tax rate Bachmann 08:19:00 09:21:00
Right to work Santorum 10:17:00 10:58:00
Unemployment benefits Gingrich 11:27:00 12:27:00
Subsidizing alternative energy Huntsman 13:03:00 14:35:00
999 Economic plan Cain 15:15:00 16:22:00
Romney 16:36:00 17:03:00
10th amendment Paul 17:42:00 18:38:00
Johnson 19:00:00 20:07:00
Social Security Perry 26:15:00 27:18:00
Romney 27:22:00 28:14:00
Perry 28:17:00 28:52:00
Romney 29:06:00 29:46:00
Romney 30:24:00 31:28:00
Taxing the wealthy Huntsman 31:59:00 33:15:00
Eliminate one department from the federal government Cain 33:42:00 34:51:00
How to cut spending by 40% Gingrich 35:22:00 36:37:00
Education Johnson 37:28:00 38:07:00
Santorum 38:09:00 38:54:00
Gingrich 38:58:00 39:28:00
Paul 39:31:00 40:13:00
Perry 40:18:00 40:56:00
Romney 41:00:00 42:18:00
Bachmann 42:20:00 42:58:00
Cain 43:02:00 43:27:00
Huntsman 43:30:00 44:15:00
Immigration Bachmann 45:04:00 46:07:00
Gingrich 47:11:00 48:17:00
Education for illegal immigrants Romney 48:47:00 50:03:00
Perry 51:00:00 52:10:00
Santorum 52:39:00 53:48:00
Perry 53:51:00 54:39:00
Border fence with Mexico Paul 55:24:00 56:35:00

Second half:

Israel Romney 03:00:00 04:08:00
Palestinian state Cain 04:23:00 05:32:00
Pakistan Perry 06:03:00 07:01:00
Iraq Santorum 07:14:00 08:43:00
Foreign aid Gingrich 09:18:00 10:26:00
Cuba Johnson 10:38:00 11:34:00
Bachmann 11:40:00 11:58:00
Bringing the troops home Huntsman 12:06:00 13:14:00
Santorum 13:17:00 13:56:00
Huntsman 13:56:00 14:14:00
Education: separation of church and state Bachmann 14:47:00 15:53:00
Gays in the military Santorum 16:22:00 17:54:00
Abortion Paul 18:11:00 19:06:00
Differences with Bush Perry 19:40:00 20:32:00
Obamacare Cain 21:26:00 22:44:00
Huntsman 24:04:00 25:27:00
Perry's vaccine mandate Bachmann 26:09:00 27:12:00
Perry 27:16:00 27:56:00
Texas medical uninsurance Perry 28:39:00 29:49:00
Romneycare Romney 30:07:00 31:11:00
Perry 31:17:00 32:00:00
Romney 32:02:00 33:02:00
How to turn the country around Huntsman 37:54:00 38:37:00
Cain 38:38:00 39:19:00
Bachmann 39:25:00 39:52:00
Romney 39:55:00 40:37:00
Perry 40:41:00 41:12:00
Paul 41:15:00 41:54:00
Gingrich 42:03:00 42:43:00
Santorum 42:51:00 43:44:00
Johnson 43:49:00 44:44:00
Vice president Johnson 46:55:00 47:32:00
Santorum 47:34:00 47:57:00
Gingrich 47:58:00 48:23:00
Paul 48:25:00 48:51:00
Perry 48:56:00 49:25:00
Romney 49:28:00 50:48:00
Bachmann 50:52:00 51:29:00
Cain 51:30:00 52:14:00
Huntsman 52:16:00 53:10:00

Photo credits
The photographers of the heads above obviously do not necessarily support, or even know of the existence of, this blog :) .

Cain/Santorum/Gingrich/Perry: Gage Skidmore. Wikipedia articles for the candidates.
Romney: Brian Rawson-Ketchum (rawmustard)  on Flickr.
Johnson: NSON. Wikipedia article for Gary Johnson.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

GOP Tea Party Debate - Perry takes all (the time) yet again

Last week I wrote about the GOP debate at the Reagan library.  Rick Perry had significantly (ridiculously significantly in my scientific assessment) more time than the other candidates, to present his case.

Non-uniform (a.k.a. unfair) time distribution
This week was more of the same at the Tea Party GOP debate in Florida.   This time, the "winner"(the candidate with the most floor time), Perry, had over two and a half times more floor time than the "loser", Cain.

Romney came in second (again) with over 10 minutes total speaking time.  Santorum came in second-to-last (again) with just under 7 minutes.   The remaining candidates were relatively close with between 7 and 8 minutes speaking time each.

The only real change I can see in the Tea Party Debate is that Gingrich had a slightly larger share of the floor time than he did at the previous debate.

The rules were announced at the beginning of the debate: 1 minute to answer a question and 30 seconds for rebuttal.  One minute into the debate, Perry and Romney engaged in dialogue back and forth for four and a half minutes, while the other candidates probably yawned and started wondering what was for dinner.

Debating about Perry and Romney
Not only did Perry and Romney dominate the floor in terms of time, but the following questions from the moderator raised at least my eyebrows:
  • Asking Cain about Social Security: "Are you with Perry?"
  • Asking Santorum about Social Security: "Are you with Romney or Perry?"   Really?  Is this a multiple choice test where these are the only two choices? Not only are Perry and Romney given disproportionate time to speak, but the moderator leads the other candidates to frame their answers around Perry and Romney instead of simply expressing their own opinions.
  • A full six minutes was dedicated to asking each of the eight candidates what they thought about Perry's executive order for cervical cancer vaccinations.
Distribution of debate time
Following are the floor times I calculated for each candidate.  My notes on which this data is based are found below.  For each question asked to a candidate, I counted the time the candidate took to respond, including any dialog with the moderator during follow-up questions.

Candidate Debate time (minutes)
Perry 13.72
Romney 10.40
Bachmann 8.02
Gingrich 7.77
Huntsman 7.43
Paul 7.32
Santorum 6.78
Cain 5.32

In a world...
As the debate video started, and I prepared my files to take notes, my boyfriend, not paying much attention to the debate as he worked on his computer, but hearing it in the background, asked me if what he just heard was a movie trailer parody.  The debate "show" started with suspense music and the dramatic declaration, in a tone reminiscent of the opening lines "In a world..." heard in so many trailers: "Tonight.  Eight Republicans.  One goal.  To win the White House."  I guess the political debates in other countries like France are a bit less entertaining.

My notes
The following are the notes I took from the debate, upon which my calculations and the above chart are based.

Tea Party GOP Debate, Part 1

Social security/medicare
Bachmann: 13:27-14:32
Perry: 14:49-15:58
Romney: 16:15-17:17
Perry: 17:20-17:47
Romney: 17:47-17:56
Perry: 17:56-18:35
Romney: 18:35-18:58
Perry: 19:00-19:06
Romney: 19:13-19:22
Paul: 19:31-20:18
Cain: 20:27-21:19 (Are you with Perry?)
Huntsman: 21:26-22:06
Gingrich: 22:18-23:55
Santorum: 24:10-25:24 (Are you with Romney or Perry?)

Debt/Prescription drugs for seniors:
Gingrich: 26:10-27:33:05
Santorum: 27:39-28:35
Perry: 28:58-29:42
Romney: 29:45-30:47
Paul: 30:55-31:38
Bachmann: 31:45-32:25

Tea Party GOP Debate, Part 2
Economy moving forward:
Huntsman: 00:42-02:02
Perry: 02:20-03:41
Bachmann: 4:04-05:17
Cain: 5:24-06:20
Romney: 06:26-08:45
Perry: 8:50-09:43
Paul: 9:47-10:49
Perry: 10:55-11:24
Gingrich: 11:48-13:06

Cain: 13:22-14:16
Huntsman: 14:28-15:48

Federal reserve:
Santorum: 17:06-18:18
Cain: 18:25-19:04
Bachmann: 19:17-20:14
Perry: 20:35-21:28
Romney: 21:33-22:15

Huntsman: 22:42-24:03
Gingrich: 24:18-26:28

Fair tax:
Romney: 26:55-27:57

Executive order:
Paul: 28:28-29:03
Perry: 29:17-30:14
Bachmann: 30:19-31:23
Perry: 31:33-31:59
Bachmann: 32:06-32:42
Perry: 32:51-33:04
Santorum: 0:00-0:51
Perry: 1:04-1:33

Tea Party GOP Debate, Part 3
Health insurance:
Cain: 2:10-3:17
Romney: 3:34-4:40
Perry: 4:55-5:47
Romney: 5:52-6:49
Paul: 7:17-8:46
Bachmann: 8:52-10:25

Santorum: 11:45-12:39
Perry: 12:43-13:50
Santorum: 14:05-14:44
Perry: 14:56-15:34
Bachmann: 15:41-16:26
Perry: 16:35-17:09
Huntsman: 17:18-18:18
Romney: 18:25-19:40
Perry: 19:43-20:36
Huntsman: 20:48-21:23

Cain: 21:58-22:46

Gingrich: 23:00-24:00
Paul: 24:07-25:43
Santorum: 25:49-26:44
Paul: 26:47-27:39

Huntsman: 28:17-29:20
Perry: 29:32-30:20

Closing comments:
Santorum: 31:29-31:35
Gingrich: 31:37-31:55
Paul: 31:58-32:13
Perry: 32:16-32:21
Romney: 32:29-32:47
Bachmann: 32:52-33:00
Cain: 33:06-33:09
Huntsman: 33:17-33:24

Photo credits
The photographers of the heads above obviously do not necessarily support, or even know of the existence of, this blog :) .

Cain/Santorum/Gingrich/Perry: Gage Skidmore. Wikipedia articles for the candidates.
Romney: Brian Rawson-Ketchum (rawmustard)  on Flickr.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sept 7 GOP debate: Perry wins (the most floor time)

This week, as I watched the GOP debate, I was curious about the (un)fairness of floor time allocated to the candidates.   There has been discussion of Ron Paul being ignored by the media, even to the point of ridiculousness (for example, with Ron Paul winning 3rd place in a USA gallop poll in August, a headline mentioned 1st, 2nd, and 4th place winners).   Jon Stewart at the Daily Show did a hilarious piece (a must see!) on this.   

Since the GOP debate was on at 2am where I live, I had to catch it the following day on YouTube.  I'm not 100% sure of the completeness of the videos I've seen, but the links, as well as my notes, are provided at the end of the article so you can see the basis of my analysis.

Calculating floor time
For a given question asked to a candidate, I did not include the time of the initial question asked by the host.  I included the time the candidate took to answer, as well as any dialogue between the candidate and the host during the answer.

Using the above calculation, each candidate had the following floor time, to convince the public that he or she should be president:

Candidate Debate time (minutes)
Perry 16.35
Paul 9.28
Huntsman 9.10
Gingrich 6.82
Santorum 6.40
Cain 5.43

A disparity of floor time is evident, as Rick Perry enjoyed over 16 minutes to provide his arguments, while Cain was granted less than 6 minutes during the evening to present his case.

Ron Paul was not, in fact, the most ignored candidate.  He, Bachmann, and Hunstman essentially tied for third place with about 9 minutes floor time.  Mitt Romney, in second place, had over 12 minutes of debate time, almost twice as much as the second-to-last-place Santorum.

I did not do a full analysis of the applauses, though I did note a few of them.  While Gingrich was among the candidates with less floor time, he seemed to make every minute count, evoking enthusiastic applause.  

Here are the notes I took from the debate.  If there are any inaccuracies, please do let me know :)

Intro: 1 minute to answer, 30s for followup or rebuttal.
Perry: 2:55-4:15
Romney: 4:42-7:11
Perry: 7:21-7:44
Romney: 7:49-8:38
Santorum: 9:21-10:30
Cain: 10:35-11:39  (Applause)
Huntsman: 12:05-13:30 (small applause)
Bachmann: 13:52-14:57
Paul: 15:30-17:24 (Applause)
Gingrich: 17:49-19:12 (Applause)

Perry: 20:11-20:15
Romney: 20:34-21:49  (Applause)
Perry: 22:08-23:43
Huntsman: 23:55-25:03
Bachmann: 25:14-26:16 (Applause)
Gingrich: 26:33-27:40 (Big Applause)
Cain: 28:08-29:17 (Applause)

Santorum: 0:41-2:10 (Applause)
Perry: 2:30-3:27 (Applause)

Romney: 3:54-5:06
Bachmann: 5:11-6:10
Huntsman: 6:16-7:19 (small applause)

Minimum wage, medicare, gas
Paul: 7:27-9:02

Perry: 9:10-9:34
Paul: 9:41-10:27

Social Security:
Perry: 14:46-16:55
Romney: 17:12-18:15
Perry: 18:23-18:55 (Applause)
Cain: 19:00-19:50 (Applause)

Perry's exec orders:
Paul: 20:15-21:20
Bachmann: 21:28-22:18
Perry: 22:23-23:22
Santorum: 23:36-24:42
Romney: 24:47-25:40 (applause)

Homeland security:
Gingrich: 25:46-26:27
Paul: 26:33-29:16
Cain: 29:31-30:19

Huntsman: 0:08-1:35

Perry: 2:03-3:09
Gingrich: 3:20-4:24

Perry: 5:00-6:03 (applause)
Romney: 6:16-7:24 (applause)
Gingrich: 7:34-8:44 (applause)
Santorum: 8:48-10:06
Bachmann: 10:28-12:03
Cain: 12:05-12:50
Huntsman: 12:55-14:02
Paul: 14:04-15:18

Tea Party/Debt ceiling:
Romney: 16:13-16:40
Perry: 17:00-17:43
Bachmann: 17:51-18:33

Huntsman: 18:38-20:16 (applause)
Bachmann: 24:00-26:09 (applause)
Santorum: 26:20-27:42

Huntsman: 28:06-29:24

Perry: 0:16-2:07
Bachmann: 2:17-3:30

Gingrich: 3:40-5:04 (applause)
Romney: 5:31-7:20

Capital Punishment:
Perry: 7:40-9:12 (applause)

Corporate taxes:
Cain: 9:30-10:20

Photo credits
The photographers of the heads above obviously do not necessarily support, or even know of the existence of, this blog :) .

Cain/Santorum/Gingrich/Perry: Gage Skidmore. Wikipedia articles for the candidates.
Romney: Brian Rawson-Ketchum (rawmustard)  on Flickr.