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

    Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

    Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

    Political Crumbs

    Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

    Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


    Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

    Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


    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