Home – The Debate about the Debate: How Media Analysis Brings Clarity to the Buzz

The Debate about the Debate: How Media Analysis Brings Clarity to the Buzz

Posted on 10-15-2015 by Megan Burnside

A few weeks ago, Ad Age lamented, “Where did everyone go?” in an article about declining television viewership. Apparently, the presidential hopefuls didn’t see the article, nor did viewers. After the dust settled, the debate this past Tuesday averaged 15.3 million viewers, the highest viewership ever for a Democratic debate. The numbers are especially amazing for another reason: Typical viewership for primary debates is usually 2 to 5 million at this stage in the game. As CNN points out, “… there’s something special about this election—something that has a lot more viewers paying attention.”  Of course, the more attention this long election season attracts, the happier the media will be. That means volume will be up—and media monitoring and analysis will be crucial to managing all the information flowing. 

 

Can Media Analysis Help You See Who Won?

Lately, we’ve been conducting a little monitoring and analysis ourselves to keep up with the GOP contenders, so we decided to see what’s being said about the Democratic debate in the media too. Here are 3 insights we uncovered:

1. Senator Bernie Sanders won over the Millennials.

How do we know?  According to CNN, the live stream of the debate enjoyed 980,000 concurrent live streams – exceeding the GOP debate numbers for online viewing. He also outflanked the others on stage when it came to gaining Twitter® followers, adding 35,163 new followers in fewer than three hours.  Sure, there are some non-Millennials in the mix, but Millennials are the more likely digital consumers. We’ll have to keep an eye on the Media by Type analysis to see if the Bern’s audience fuels higher traditional media attention in the coming months.


2. Hillary Rodham Clinton won over the media and political pundits.

In coverage following the debate, pundits acknowledge that Bernie Sanders  delivered a quality performance, but  POLITICO.com reported that “Clinton was the clear winner of the first Democratic presidential debate …" based on their own bipartisan survey of both Democrats and Republicans in their POLITICO Caucus. "Seventy-nine percent of Democratic insiders surveyed said she dominated her four opponents onstage. Fifty-four percent of Republicans said the same." POLITICO was not alone. Several other media outlets were quick to declare Hillary Clinton the winner.


3. Only two people were on the stage Tuesday night.

Okay, not really. But if you look at the media coverage—both over time and in just the two days since the event—the Bern and Hillary, as they’re known on the campaign trail, dominated the debate. Check out our Coverage Over the Last 60 Days and Share of Voice:

Indeed, the others in the debate did receive a boost in visibility in the past two days, as you can see in the comparison of Share of Voice charts (over 60 days and over the last two days):

But the follow-up on those “also-rans” is likely to be light.

We’ll keep monitoring the media for more insights on the 2016 Presidential Campaign, so watch for more here soon. And let us know if there are other topics you’d like us to check out.

 

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Look back at some other media-monitoring posts here on the Biz Blog.
  2. Take LexisNexis® Newsdesk for a spin with a 14-day trial.
  3. Share this blog on LinkedIn to keep the dialogue going with your colleagues and contacts. 

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