Twitter, Fox News To Gauge Real-Time Sentiment At South Carolina Debate

    January 16, 2012
    Josh Wolford

Monday’s GOP debate is setting up to be an important battle, as it is being held in South Carolina just days before the big primary in the Palmetto State.

And as Fox News’ Bret Baier hits the candidates with questions, viewers will have a chance to give their feedback regarding just how honestly and openly the hopefuls presented their responses.

Twitter and Fox News are teaming up to give the debates an added dimension – real time feedback via Twitter reactions. Twitter is asking viewers to use two particular hashtags when tweeting about candidates’ responses: #dodge and #answer.

For instance, let’s say that you think Rick Santorum tried to talk his way around a question about Afghanistan, you can tweet Santorum’s name along with the #dodge hashtag. Conversely, if you think Ron Paul tackled a question about Medicare head on, you can tweet his name with the #answer hashtag.

The results of these tweets will be displayed on the Fox News site. This way, users can see real-time meters that judge the national consensus – do a majority of Twitter users feel a candidate made a good attempt to answer a question, or was it a clear example of dodging?

VP of Fox News digital Jeff Misenti told the NYT that they’re going to use the Twitter data when analyzing the debates. When commentators are breaking it down afterwards, “we’re going to try to pull some of this data into those conversations,” he said.

This is the second time that Twitter and Fox News have tried this live reaction tracking. Back in December, viewers we asked to use the #dodge and #hashtags to comment on how well the candidates tackled each debate topic. But this debate has even more significance, as the candidate list has narrowed since Iowa, and the real primaries are underway.

Twitter wants everyone to join the conversation, even when they aren’t tweeting about candidates dodging questions. Users are asked to use the more generic #scdebate hashtag with all their debate-related tweets.


Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf