Rick Perry 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 Rick Perry.  If you want to see who won the debate please click on this link PoliticIt which will take you to our main blog.  If you want to see another candidate just click on their name: Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, JonHuntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum.

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


The following graph shows Twitter activity about Rick Perry for the last 7 days preceding the debate for the following Hashtags and @ tags: #RickPerry, #Perry, @RickPerry, @Perry.

Notice that the most frequently used tags for Rick Perry are #rickperry, #perry.

This is the same graph as above expect we add an extra day:

Notice the sharp increase in Twitter activity after the day of the debate.  This is likely due to people discussing Rick Perry’s performance at the debate.  There is also a fair share of activity going on during the debate, but was this chatter good or bad?  Let’s take a quick look.

The above graph illustrates whether the Tweeter activity regarding Rick Perry is positive or negative based upon the Hashtags and @ tags that are being tracked in this blog. If you look underneath the 9th of November you can see how Rick Perry 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 Perry.  If we average out the values then Rick Perry receives a Twitter score of 2.7.


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 Rick Perry’s Intrade data on November 8th the day before the debate:


Notice how his price seems to deviate around 9.5 dollars per share and closes at a price of 9.8 dollars per share.  This indicates that Intrade traders estimated on November 8th that Rick Perry had a 9.8% probability of winning the GOP nomination. 

This is Perry’s Intrade data during the debate:

At the beginning of the debate Rick Perry was trading at 9 dollars per share.  At the end of the debate he was trading at 3.6 dollars per share. The major decline indicates that Perry did poorly in the debate.  His decline begins after he failed to name 1 of the 3 government agencies he intended to cut if elected.  Overall the debate decreased his price by 5.4 dollars per share or a 150% price decrease.  No other candidate suffered losses in the debate to this extent.  This indicates that traders on Intrade believe that the debate hurt the probability of Rick Perry winning the GOP nomination, and currently estimate that he has a 3.6% chance of winning the GOP nomination.

Extra Twitter Stats (approximate):

Top Positive Tweeters during the Debate:

impoTex: 48 tweets

StopRickPerry2: 19 tweets

poorconservativ: 12 tweets

Boazziz: 11 tweets

Natan613: 9 tweets

Top Retweeters during the Debate:

Natan613: 56 retweets

impoTex: 55 retweets

KevinNLaura2010: 50 retweets

corrcomm: 34 retweets

Linnlondon1: 27 retweets

Top Tweeters for Perry the last 7 days:

StopRickPerry2: 590 tweets

impoTex: 180 tweets

poorconservativ: 80 tweets

MOforPerry: 60 tweets

Rln22: 60 tweets

Top Positive Tweeters for Perry the last 7 days:

impoTex: 48 tweets

StopRickPerry2: 19 tweets

poorconservativ: 12 tweets

Boazziz: 11 tweets

Natan613: 9 tweets

Top Retweeters for Perry in the last 7 days:
Natan613: 90 retweets

impoTex: 79 retweets

KevinNlaura2010: 75 retweets

corrcomm: 75 retweets

Linnlondon1: 75 retweets

To see how Rick Perry 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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