How Social Media Impacted The 2016 VP Debate

The 2016 Vice President Debate took place October 4, 2016 in Virginia. Both, Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence made their cases for both their running mates and why they would make the best choice for Vice President.

The interesting thing about both VP candidates is they are both relatively unknown this VP debate is the only one for this election cycle and both men made the most of their time in the spotlight. CNN/ORC poll revealed that Pence won the debate 48% to 42% but what did the internet say? CBS had a great article about the social media stats.

The debate itself was of high interest on Google, which said that its top five trending searches were all related to the debate:

1. Virginia flag +950%

2. Governor Pence +900%

3. Pence +800%

4. Mike Pence +750%

5. Donald Trump Twitter +750%

If we take a look at the photo below, Google shows a bit of a different story then the CNN/ORC poll.

Google searches trended in favor of Senator Kaine at 54% to Governor Pence 46%. Does that tell the whole story though?

Social media expert and President of JRM Comm Jason Mollica told that he wasn’t surprised by the Kaine search result. “If you look at what people searched for on Google about Mr. Kaine (Who is Tim Kaine? What is Tim Kaine known for? Where is Tim Kaine from?), it’s clear that people don’t know much about him,” he explained, via email. “Mr. Pence has been in the headlines, not only as a VP candidate, but also for his decision to sign the ‘religious freedom’ measure into law in Indiana.”

From USA Today

‘Insult-driven campaign’ wins Facebook

A lot of people were active on Facebook during the 2016 VP Debate, we saw many people posting, liking and sharing stuff on Facebook during the vice presidential debate. The two top moments, according to facebook:

• Kaine and Pence trade jabs on an “insult-driven” campaign
• Kaine: “He is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend”

Pence racked up the largest share of conversation on the site, though Facebook doesn’t differentiate positive from negative:

• Pence: 54%
• Kaine: 46%

Pence winning Twitter at halfway point

Although it’s unclear whether the buzz is negative or positive, Trump/Pence created the most buzz in the first 45 minutes.

The folks at Twitter break down the share of conversation about the vice presidential candidates this way:

• 60%: @Mike_Pence
• 40%: @TimKaine

And about the presidential candidates this way:

• 63%: @RealDonaldTrump
• 37%: @HillaryClinton


What were the hottest issues on Twitter during the 2016 VP Debate?

The top 5 hottest issues during the 2016 Vice President Debate on Twitter

Who Gained More Twitter Followers?

Twitter Followers favored Governor Pence, adding over 22,000 new followers in comparison to the over 15,000 Senator Kaine received before, during and after the VP Debate.