Herman Cain CNBC Debate Performance

   What if there was a way to measure a debate’s success based upon data collected from social networks and the internet instead of relying upon the opinion of political commentators or journalists…well now there is.

   The PoliticIt team diligently spent the evening collecting data regarding each candidate in an attempt to find out who the internet voted to be the winner of last night’s debate.  This blog is focused completely on Herman Cain.  If you want to see a mash-up of the performances you’ll have to visit our main blog.  If you want to see another candidate just click on their name: Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum.

The PoliticIt team focused on two areas of measurement: Twitter, and Intrade.


The following graph shows Twitter activity about Herman Cain Twitter over the last 7 days preceding the debate for the following Hashtags and @ tags: hermancain, #Cain, @Cain, @HermanCain.

Notice that two tags are used frequently for Herman Cain: #cain, hermancain.

This is almost the same graph as above except we substitute “hermancain” for “#hermancain”.

Notice a significant increase in Twitter activity during the debate.  This indicates that people were talking about Herman Cain during the debate on Twitter, but was this chatter good or bad?  Let’s take a quick look.

   The above graph illustrates whether tweets about Herman Cain were positive or negative regarding the Hashtags and @ tags that are being tracked in this blog.  Notice negative rating throughout the week (likely due to the sexual harassment allegations).  If you look underneath the 9th of November you can see how Cain performed in last night’s debate.   Notice how most of his tags were positive except for the tag @cain.  This means that people who used the tag @cain were generally saying something negative.  If we average out the values then Herman Cain receives a score a Twitter score of 2.15.

   Intrade is a place where people can buy shares in the probability of a candidate winning an election.  If the price of a share goes up then the candidate is doing good, whereas, if the price of a share plummets then a candidate is doing bad.

This is Herman Cain’s Intrade data on November 8th the day before the debate:

    Notice how his price deviates between around 4 dollars a share.  This indicates that Intrade traders estimate that Herman Cain has a 4% probability of winning the GOP nomination. 

This is Cain’s Intrade data on the day of the debate:

   At the beginning of the debate Herman Cain was trading at 4.5 dollars per share.  At the end of the debate he was trading at 4 dollars a share.  This indicates that traders on Intrade believe that the debate was damaging to Herman Cain.  Cain suffered a 50 cent decrease or a 12.5% decrease in price. 

Extra Twitter Stats (approximate):

Top Positive Tweeters during the Debate:

emilyhauser: 3 tweets

mommadona: 2 tweet

Thunder_punch: 2 tweet

Cdixon25: 2 tweet

davelawguy: 2 tweet

Top Retweeters during the Debate:

narradores: 17 retweets

NarradoresDani: 17 retweets

Ron_Gibbs: 15 retweets

Wind4me: 12 retweets

Libertarian52: 8 retweets

Top Tweeters for Cain the last 7 days:

poorconservativ: 230 tweets

deanmeek: 125 tweets

RussSmith2: 110 tweets

passeos: 90 tweets

tasteofaz: 80 tweets

Top Positive Tweeters for Cain the last 7 days:

RussSmith2: 6 tweets

Southrngirl77: 5 tweets

Cdixon25: 5 tweets

NotArticCat: 4 tweets

REFlinn: 4 tweets

Top Retweeters for Cain in the last 7 days:

AmericanSpringg: 32 retweets

Ron_Gibbs: 29 retweets

Catholics4Cain: 23 retweets

MLaChance3: 23 retweets

Narradores1: 18 retweets

To see how Herman Cain did compared to other CNBC Michigan Republican Party Debate presidential candidates click here PoliticIt.

Josh Light

Josh Light

Josh Light is the CEO and Co-Founder of PoliticIt.
Josh Light


I enjoy tweeting about startups, and economics.
@adamdangelo enjoyed your interview on Econtalk. Fascinating insight on Quora being a signal and helping to create content. - 3 months ago
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