Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Romney Makes the Most of His 47 Percent (Allotted Speaking Time)

Bookmark and Share

The president receives more than 4 minutes more face time than Romney during the first debate, or a 12 percent greater amount than the GOP nominee

mittromney12.jpgIn a debate in which both candidates were supposed to receive equal speaking time, President Barack Obama was given 12 percent more airtime Wednesday evening at the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Colorado.

Obama spoke for 42 minutes and 40 seconds or 52.7 percent of the candidate-allotted speaking time.

And while Romney at times appeared to interrupt moderator Jim Lehrer, perhaps he did so for good reason.

A Smart Politics analysis finds that Mitt Romney spoke for 38 minutes and 14 seconds, or 47.3 percent of the candidate-allotted speaking time - a full four minutes and 26 seconds less than Barack Obama.

During the Republican primary debates, Romney frequently was given the most speaking time - doing so in 11 of the last 16 such debates held over the last five months of the campaign.

With largely negative reviews coming in grading his performance, the president seemingly did not benefit from the extra stage time he received Wednesday evening.

Obama gave answers of more than two minutes in length on 13 occasions, compared to just eight times for Romney.

The president spoke for more than two and a half minutes six times with Romney doing so just twice.

Lehrer, meanwhile, seemed to disappear and at times lose control of the debate - speaking significantly less than debate moderators from the GOP primaries this cycle.

Lehrer spoke for just 8 minutes and 10 seconds, or 9 percent of the total time between himself and the two nominees.

During the GOP presidential primary debates, moderators spoke for an average of twice that amount (19.8 percent) ranging from a high of 27 percent to a low of 14 percent.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: US Senate Twitter Rankings: McCain, Sanders, Reid, Paul, Grassley
Next post: Red Ties vs Blue Ties

6 Comments


  • Great post, I think you're the only one with the time percentages. But I was watching MSNBC and they were complaining that the President didn't get enough time! You should send this article to Rachel Maddow and Chris Mathews. They could use some facts over at MSNBC. Although, maybe they doctored the debate tapes so that Obama had less time? (Was that a low blow?)

  • Obama lost because of demeanor. Although the substance was there, he wasn't his usual dynamic debating self. Hope he snaps out of it.

  • Lehrer should have cut them off after their allotted time. It would have made for a better and more orderly debate. Neither candidate did himself--or the audience--a favor by going on longer than 2 minutes. And there was a lot of repetition. Some commentators thought there was too much detail. I thought there could have been more detail, more economically expressed, especially about how to pay for needed services while reducing the deficit.

  • The president did not get enough time, that is for sure and so he lost it but we know that he was not himself and Obama is certainly better than that.

  • Romney was allowed to have the last word nearly every time before moving on to the next question.

  • Great article!

    Someone should read this article to Froma Harrop, a columnist for Creative Syndicate at 737 3rd St, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 (address shown in her recent newspaper column). She obvously can write but not read or understand what she hears.

    She must have been watching a different debate because she wrote about "Romney's trampling on Jim Lehrer's gentle requests" yet totally ignored the fact that the president completely ignored the time restraints he had promised to comply with.

    But broken promises are nothing new for this president; why would we have "hoped" for him to "change"?

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    Mary Burke: English First?

    While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


    Does My Key Still Work?

    Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting