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Santorum Given the Most Airtime at Arizona GOP Debate

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Santorum clocks in with the most speaking time for just the second time in 20 debates this cycle

ricksantorum02.jpgAlthough he received somewhat harsh reviews for his performance, Rick Santorum was given plenty of opportunities to shine as the field's co-frontrunner by CNN moderator Jon King in the 20th Republican debate in Mesa, Arizona Wednesday evening.

For just the second time this election cycle, Santorum led the GOP candidates on the stage with the most face time - speaking for more than three minutes longer than his next closest rival, Mitt Romney.

A Smart Politics analysis of the Republican debate finds Santorum led the way with 25 minutes and 15 seconds of speaking time, or 31.8 percent of all time afforded to the candidates.

Following Santorum was co-frontrunner Mitt Romney at 21 minutes and 53 seconds (27.5 percent), Newt Gingrich at 16:57 (21.3 percent), and Ron Paul at 15:26 (19.4 percent).

Total Speaking Time at CNN Arizona GOP Presidential Debate

Candidate
Time
Percent
Rick Santorum
25 min. 15 sec.
31.8
Mitt Romney
21 min. 53 sec.
27.5
Newt Gingrich
16 min. 57 sec.
21.3
Ron Paul
15 min. 26 sec.
19.4
Data compiled by Smart Politics.

In the 17 debates since the field reached its peak of eight candidates after the Iowa Straw poll, Romney has had the most camera time in 11 debates, with Santorum, Gingrich, and former candidate Rick Perry getting the longest amount of time twice each.

Santorum also was afforded the most speaking time at the fourth South Carolina debate in Charleston.

Since the number of candidates in the GOP field dwindled to its current slate of four in that same Charleston debate, Governor Romney has had the most collective speaking time at 90 minutes and two seconds (29.4 percent), followed by Santorum at 84:02 (27.4 percent), Gingrich at 76:51 (25.1 percent), and Congressman Paul at just 55:40 (18.2 percent).

Total Speaking Time Across the Last Four GOP Presidential Debates

Candidate
Time
Percent
Mitt Romney
90 min. 02 sec.
29.4
Rick Santorum
84 min. 02 sec.
27.4
Newt Gingrich
76 min. 51 sec.
25.1
Ron Paul
55 min. 40 sec.
18.2
Data compiled by Smart Politics.

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1 Comment


  • This is a surprising development, as up until now it's almost all about Romney and hearing hardly anything else, now since he has declined or at least Santorum is pulling even with him or even passing him for the lead, maybe all the Romney supporters will think again.

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