Jon Huntsman 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 Jon Huntsman.

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, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum.

The PoliticIt team focused on 2 areas of measurement: Twitter, and Intrade.


The following graph shows Twitter activity about Jon Huntsman Twitter over the last 7 days preceding the debate for the following Hashtags and @tags: #Jon Huntsman, # Huntsman, @ Jon Huntsman

Notice that two tags are used frequently for Jon Huntsman: @jonhuntsman, #huntsman.

This is almost the same graph as above except we add an additional tag: @huntsman


Notice the large increase in Twitter activity at the time of the debate.  This indicates that people were talking about Jon Huntsman 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 Jon Huntsman were positive or negative regarding the Hashtags and @ tags that are being tracked in this blog. If you look underneath the 9th of November you can see how Huntsman performed in last night’s debate.   Notice how all of his tags were positive.  This means that the majority of people on Twitter were saying good things about Huntsman.  If we average out the values then Jon Huntsman receives a Twitter score of 3.8.


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 Jon Huntsman’s Intrade data on November 8th the day before the debate:

Notice how his price deviates between around 3 dollars a share.  This indicates that Intrade traders estimate that Jon Huntsman has a 3% probability of winning the GOP nomination. 

This is Huntsman’s Intrade data during the debate:

At the beginning of the debate Jon Huntsman was trading at 3 dollars per share.  At the end of the debate he was trading at 3 dollars per share.  This indicates that traders on Intrade believe that the debate had a neutral effect on Huntsman. 

Extra Twitter Stats (approximate):

Top Positive Tweeters during the Debate:

Women4Huntsman: 4 tweets

tinklebott: 4 tweets

ChadGregory3: 3 tweets

David_Architect: 3 tweets

As_promised: 2 tweets

Top Retweeters during the Debate:

Women4Huntsman: 22 retweets

ChadGregory3: 6 retweets

JonHuntsman12: 6 retweets

tmdziedzic: 5 retweets

DeAnn_1: 4 retweets

Top Tweeters for Huntsman the last 7 days:

Women4Huntsman: 55 tweets

VoteGlobelPolls: 37 tweets

STL_BLONDE: 36 tweets

voteglobal: 36 tweets

JonHuntsman12: 30 tweets

Top Positive Tweeters for Huntsman the last 7 days:

Paula_Dockery: 7 tweets

STL4Huntsman: 5 tweets

JonHuntsman12: 4 tweets

David_Topping: 3 tweets

CarolineWren: 3 tweets

Top Retweeters for Huntsman in the last 7 days:

tmdziedzic: 20 retweets

Women4Huntsman: 15 retweets

ArgoJournal: 12 retweets

JonHuntsman12: 12 retweets

CarolynSCPatch: 10 retweets

To see how Jon Huntsman 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. - 2 months ago
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