So, Who Really Won the Third Democratic Debate?

Post Democratic Debate

Resonate’s AI-driven voter insights combined with best-in-class survey research and monitoring both online and offline behaviors reveals a dynamic, nuanced picture of the American electorate on an individual level. Resonate’s insights are homegrown from trustworthy sources, served fresh daily and go beyond an analysis of the static voter file combined with third-party data. Resonate’s data goes beyond basic demographics and political party, revealing the why behind voters’ decisions to support a cause or candidate, allowing campaigns to reach their desired voter segment more effectively.

Resonate anonymously analyzes 10 billion daily online events on more than 550 million devices across 2 trillion words on 35,000 topics. AI shows us in real-time which candidates saw the biggest lift or decline in viewings of favorable content about them based on online behavior in the five days prior to, and five days following, the debate. This is what we refer to as the Resonate Candidate Index. AI revealed a clear picture of where the polls are headed and who the American electorate really viewed as the winners and losers of the third Democratic debate on September 12th.

Who moved the needle during the third democratic debates?

Beto O’Rourke pulled away with the win during this debate in Houston. Positive online engagement surrounding him increased by 822% in the five days following the debate. This was nearly a 500% increase from the second debate in July and an even bigger leap from the first debate in June. Another big winner was Andrew Yang, whose online engagement increased by 501% after the debate. However, this was a decrease from his previous two debates—his engagement has decreased by 55% since July and by 470% since June. Some news outlets declared Joe Biden as the winner, but according to our data, although he stayed strong before and after this debate, online engagement surrounding him dropped 108% from the previous one. Candidates who placed behind O’Rourke and Yang were Amy Klobuchar with a 162% increase, Joe Biden with a 145% increase, Bernie Sanders with a 113% increase and Pete Buttigieg with a 95% increase.

A breakdown of the post-debate increases in online engagement can be seen in the graph below:

Dem Debate Change in Engagement

How did the third debate influence online engagement?

We ranked the candidates as far as pre-debate and post-debate engagement, shown below, which is a picture of the changes that took place:

Dem Debate Pre vs Post

Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang made the biggest improvements, while Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg stayed strong before and after the debate. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all fell in the engagement rankings following the event.

Stay with Resonate throughout the 2020 election season for real-time, AI-driven updates on the Resonate Candidate Index. Our next post-debate engagement check-in will be five days following the next Democratic debates in October. AI-driven predictive analytics help campaigns discover voter segments that the traditional voter file and third-party data analysis could never find.

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