Debate data reveals it’s still the Trump show
Politico - 09/21/2015
A lot of ink has been spilled over last Wednesday’s debate, but here’s another way to talk about it. Judging purely by the data, Trump still dominated – but Fiorina and Christie really stepped forward, and Rubio made the most of the openings he had. Jeb Bush, meanwhile, had plenty of chances but largely let them slip by.
As we did during the previous GOP debate, we here at the Lazer Lab spent some time analyzing the transcript from Wednesday night’s CNN Republican debate, skipping over personal impressions to get at two raw questions: Who talked the most, and what did they actually say?
Crunching the data, we found that much as he did in the first debate, Donald Trump dominated the show. Despite the addition of an 11th debater on the stage, Trump actually managed to increase his percentage of turns to speak and held the floor for the largest chunk of time. This was in part because the moderators directed so many questions his way and asked several related to his controversial statements. Much of this attention also came from his fellow debaters, who seemed more comfortable challenging Trump directly.