Michigan debate: the top 12.5% have 21.5% of the speaking time
The November 9 debate had the biggest gap between the first and second place candidates (in terms of time allocated to speak) since I've been tracking the debates: Romney having over 15 minutes while Gingrich had less than 10 minutes. In other words, Romney had over 50% more time to speak than Gingrich (let alone the other candidates who had even less time to speak).
South Carolina debate: progress toward fair speaking time, but bias against Ron Paul
The moderators at the November 12 debate seemed to make more efforts than usual to prevent the candidates from going over their allocated 1 minute answering time, often interrupting the candidates. However, in doing so, they actually cut off some candidates before their speaking time should have been up.
The normal procedure was supposed to allow 1 minute for candidates to answer a question, and 30 seconds for a rebuttal. During the first 38 minutes of the debate, 22 questions were given to the eight candidates. This should have been distributed in such a way that each of the candidates answered 2-3 questions. However, only one of these questions was directed toward Ron Paul (at 9 minutes into the debate), in the form of a rebuttal, during which he was cut off after speaking for 39 seconds. This question should not have been posed as a rebuttal, since it was the first question directed to Paul, and it was not in response to his name being mentioned by another candidate. Furthermore, during this same period, Perry had 4.92 minutes to speak, Gingrich 4.87, and Romney 3.3 minutes. On another of Ron Paul's opportunities to answer, which was not a rebuttal (around 56 minutes into the debate), he was also interrupted early, after 47 seconds.
Romney was also interrupted prematurely at around 6 minutes into the debate, but upon insisting that the he deserved more time, the moderators agreed. However, Romney continued to spend a total of over 2.5 minutes on this question.
|Michigan debate speaking time distribution|
|South Carolina debate speaking time distribution|
Cumulative speaking time since September
The following chart shows the cumulative speaking time over the last two months. Even though Romney came in third place at the latest debate (November 12), he is still leading with 92 minutes while the bulk of the candidates have had between 45 and 55 minutes to speak.
|Cumulative speaking time distribution|
As always, here are my raw notes from the debates. I invite anybody who might also be tracking this to let me know of any inconsistencies.
The video is here.
The video is here.
|Romney||2.37||05:47.00||08:09.00||Interrupted prematurely but then continued to talk|
|Paul||0.65||09:39.00||10:18.00||Follow-up 30 seconds ?|
|Santorum||1.77||12:44.00||14:30.00||Victory in Afghanistan would mean that the Taliban is no longer a security threat to the Afghan people or to our country. Re: pro-democracy movement in Iran, Bush didn't provide money for this, and Obama cut this money ? We should be working with Israel right now, to do what they did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that nuclear capability, before the next explosion we hear in Iran is a nuclear one and then the world changes.|
|Paul||0.78||56:38.00||57:25.00||Interrupted him before a minute was up|
|Cain||0.42||59:32.00||59:57.00||Keep gitmo open, allow the military to use enhanced interrogation techniques|
|Gingrich||0.58||16:24.00||16:59.00||We are in a very dangerous world|
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.