Newt Gingrich 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 Newt Gingrich.  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, 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 Newt for the last 7 days preceding the debate for the following Hashtags and @ tags: NewtGingrich, #Gingrich, @Gingrich, @Newt Gingrich.

Notice that two tags are used frequently for Newt Gingrich: newtgingrich, @newtgingrich.

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

Notice a steady increase in Twitter activity on the 9th.   This indicates that people were talking about Newt Gingrich 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 Newt 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 Gingrich 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 Gingrich.  If we average out the values then Newt Gingrich receives a score a Twitter score of 4.6.


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 Newt Gingrich’s Intrade data on November 8th the day before the debate:

Notice how his price deviates between around 8 dollars a share.  This indicates that Intrade traders estimated that Newt Gingrich has an 8% probability of winning the GOP nomination on the night before the debate. 

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

At the beginning of the debate Newt Gingrich was trading at 9.8 dollars per share.  At the end of the debate he was trading at 9.7 dollars per share.  This indicates that traders on Intrade believe that the debate was slightly damaging to Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich suffered a 10 cent decrease or a 1% decrease in price.  At the end of the debate Intrade traders estimate the probability of Gingrich winning the nomination to be 9.7%. 

Though Gingrich suffered a numerical decrease the high volatility of trading on his shares indicates that some of the trading may have been speculative.

Extra Twitter Stats (approximate):

Top Positive Tweeters during the Debate:

DailyNational: 4 tweets

TheAngelicaw: 4 tweets

betbooo: 4 tweets

UdayanMallik: 3 tweets

IvanGH: 3 tweets

Top Retweeters during the Debate:

StknConservativ: 15 retweets

UdayanMallik: 13 retweets


Ritalynman: 13 retweets

Kelloggie: 12 retweets

wahabby: 9 retweets

Top Tweeters for Gingrich the last 7 days:

UdayanMallik: 140 tweets

StknConservativ: 120 tweets

verigatari: 90 tweets

LittleFlos: 70 tweets

Sagart52: 68 tweets

Top Positive Tweeters for Gingrich the last 7 days:

UdayanMallik: 15 tweets

StknConservativ: 12 tweets

JeremyDanilson: 12 tweets

LittleFlos: 8 tweets

Newt2012HQ: 8 tweets

Top Retweeters for Gingrich in the last 7 days:

UdayanMallik: 118 retweets

StknConservativ: 112 retweets

LittleFlos: 80 retweets

JeremyDanilson: 60 retweets

Newt2012HQ: 60 retweets

To see how Newt Gingrich 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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