Sunday, October 23, 2011

GOP Las Vegas debate: Perry and Romney taking most of the stage (as usual)

The GOP debate in Las Vegas this Tuesday was no different from the previous four debates, in that Romney and Perry had significantly more time to speak than the other candidates.  However, the gap was narrower than the previous debates.  In Las Vegas, the candidate with the most time, Romney, only had twice as much time to speak as the candidate with the least time, Gingrich, unlike previous debates (Reagan Library, Orlando) where the gap was a multiplier of three.

In the Las Vegas debate, at two moments, candidates bickered for about a minute, each one trying to speak over the other.  First, Perry constantly interrupted Romney for about one minute while he tried to answer a question about immigration, then Santorum constantly interrupted Romney for another minute about his credibility for repealing Obamacare.  Perhaps the other candidates were fed up with Romney getting so much more time to speak at the previous debates that they tried (and failed) to aggressively claim more time to speak for themselves?  In any case, these moments of bickering were not included in my calculations of time allocated to each speaker, as two people talking simultaneously is as useful as nobody talking at all.

What closing statement?
The last question, "Who could best beat Barack Obama?" seemed to be presented as a general question and an opportunity for the candidates to give their closing statements.  Unfortunately, not all candidates were able to answer this question, as time ran out.   While Romney had a chance to speak three times, and Perry twice, during this last question, Ron Paul was the only candidate not allowed to answer the question.

Santorum looking truly frustrated and desperate as he tries to undermine Romney's credibility concerning repealing Obamacare.  Santorum resorts to interrupting Romney constantly during one minute while Romney tries to answer a question.

Romney mentioned not once, but twice, his support for E-verify to reduce illegal immigration.

Perry mentioned the use of predator drones along the border to crack down on illegal immigration.

Perry was booed for his insistent criticism of Romney for allegedly continuing to knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Perry quote of the day: When criticized by the moderator for ignoring a question and answering a completely different question:  "You get the ask the questions, and I get to answer them like I want to."

Bachmann quote of the day:  "Now with the president.  He put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa."  Last time I checked, Libya was in Africa.  Perhaps she meant Uganda?

Distribution of debate time
Following is the time allocated to each candidate at the debate. Romney is a clear winner, with twice as much time to speak as Gingrich.  Perry, with over 12 minutes, is a few minutes behind Romney, but still at a comfortable margin of over two minutes more than the remaining candidates, Cain, Bachmann, Paul, and Santorum, each having about 10 minutes.

Candidate Debate time (min)
Romney 15.92
Perry 12.33
Santorum 10.27
Paul 9.80
Bachmann 9.73
Cain 9.62
Gingrich 8.17

The following chart shows the time each candidate has had to speak at the previous five debates.  Gary Johnson was only invited to one of the debates, and Huntstman was absent from the last debate.

We can see that Romney and Perry have always had the most time to speak.  Among these two candidates, Perry started out with the most time in the earlier debates, but has since ceded this privilege to Romney.  Santorum and Cain have been getting progressively more time, while the remaining candidates have seen fluctuations.

Cumulative debate time
The following chart shows the total time each candidate has had to speak over the last five debates.  Romney has had 68 minutes, and Johnson, invited to just one of the debates, just over 4 minutes.
Raw data
Following are my notes, based on the four part video available here.
Santorum 08:12 08:29
Paul 08:32 08:48
Cain 08:54 09:10
Romney 09:16 09:33
Perry 09:39 09:54
Gingrich 10:00 10:24
Bachmann 10:30 10:42
Replacing the federal income tax with a federal sales tax
Bachmann 11:19 12:26 999 plan
Cain 12:35 13:30
Santorum 13:37 14:43
Cain 14:49 15:21
Bachmann 15:24 16:00
Perry 16:06 16:48
Cain 16:50 17:28
Paul 17:40 18:43
Cain 18:46 19:12
Romney 19:12 19:55
Cain 19:55 20:04
Romney 20:07 21:16
Gingrich 21:29 22:53
Bachmann 23:03 24:21
Romney's 59 point economic plan/Romneycare/Obamacare
Perry 24:36 25:46
Romney 25:54 26:38
Santorum 26:40 27:56
Romney 28:00 29:20 Santorum looking desperate saying Romney has no credibility for repealing Obamacare. Constantly interrupting Romney
Santorum 00:05 00:42
Romney 00:47 01:32
Gingrich 01:47 02:53
Romney 02:57 04:10
Bachmann 04:13 04:49
Paul 05:41 06:59
Cain 07:07 07:58
Perry 08:12 09:09 Talks about immigration instead of healthcare
Romney 09:15 09:20
Perry/Romney 09:20 09:45 Constantly interrupted by Perry
Romney 09:45 10:44
Perry 10:51 11:25
Romney 11:25 12:24 E-verify
Border fence
Cain 13:14 14:13
Perry 14:24 15:24 Predator drones
Bachmann 15:29 16:45
Perry 16:52 17:57
Romney 18:05 19:14 E-verify
Perry 19:17 19:40 Boo'd for criticizing romney for hiring illegals
Gingrich 20:06 21:10
Paul 21:28 22:37
Cain 22:45 23:23
Perry 23:31 24:59 You get the ask the questions, and I get to answer them like I want to
Anchor babies
Bachmann 25:01 25:42
Santorum 25:47 26:52
Paul 26:57 27:32
Opening national nuclear repository
Gingrich 27:47 28:47
Paul 28:48 29:35
Romney 00:02 00:52
Perry 00:58 02:03
Real estate bubble/forclosures
Santorum 02:20 03:31
Perry 03:36 03:57
Santorum 03:57 04:19
Perry 04:19 04:34
Romney 04:37 05:12
Cain 05:15 05:57
Bachmann 06:00 07:07
Occupy Wall Street
Cain 07:27 08:03
Paul 08:18 09:20
Cain 09:27 09:56
Paul 10:00 10:39
Romney 10:47 11:52
Should a candidate's faith shape a debate? Reference to Robert Jeffress
Santorum 13:00 13:54
Gingrich 13:59 15:09
Perry 15:23 16:25
Romney 16:31 17:51
Perry 18:06 18:15
Deficit reduction to cut defense spending
Bachmann 18:36 19:53 Potential assisination attempt by Iran on US soil. Entered a 4th conflict. Now with the president. He put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa. 
Gingrich 20:24 21:31
Paul 22:00 23:11
Would you negociate for a hostage ?
Cain 23:38 24:32
Santorum 24:36 25:59 Central threat is Iran
Paul 26:03 26:45
Foreign aid

Perry 27:09 28:01
Romney 28:05 29:11
Paul 00:05 01:04
Bachmann 01:07 02:20
Cain 02:26 03:03
Paul 03:06 03:13
Santorum 03:16 03:49
Gingrich 03:53 04:13
Who could best beat Barack Obama?
Santorum 05:25 06:57
Romney 07:03 07:34
Perry 07:42 08:14
Romney 08:17 08:53
Perry 08:53 09:23
Romney 09:29 10:01
Cain 10:09 11:04
Romney 11:09 11:35
Bachmann 11:49 12:10
Gingrich 12:15 12:50

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.

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