How the Convention Speeches Played on Twitter

Traffic on the social-media service is massively higher for the Democratic convention this week than for last week's Republican gathering.

twitternight2.banner.jpg

The line in yellow on the chart above shows the number of tweets per minute about the Democratic convention during Wednesday night's session featuring Bill Clinton. In red, tweets per minute on the equivalent night of the Republican convention last week, featuring vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Clinton's Twitter traffic peaked at over 22,000 when he finished speaking and President Obama joined him at the podium. Ryan's speech, by contrast, barely topped 5,000 at its highest point.

It's important not to read too much into this as a measure of overall enthusiasm. Twitter users may well be younger and more liberal than the general population, and they have been found to be disproportionately African-American. On the other hand, these statistics are value-neutral; they measure what's being talked about, but not whether people are reacting positively or negatively.

A Twitter staffer notes some of the biggest lines from Clinton's speech, as judged by tweeters:

22,087 TPM - Peak post speech for Clinton

10:58PM - 16,115 TPM - Obama's job record

11:23PM - 15,266 TPM - Vote for Obama

10:38PM - 15,111 TPM - All in this together

10:47PM - 14,538 TPM - Hillary/blood sport

11:10PM - 14,393 TPM - Take some brass

But the tweet-volume record belongs to Michelle Obama on the first night of the Democratic convention. Her stirring, personal speech about her husband hit a high of 28,003 tweets per minute. Here's the chart from Tuesday, with the DNC in yellow and the RNC (which featured Ann Romney and Chris Christie on its opening night) in red:

twitternight1.banner.jpg

As President Obama prepares to speak Thursday night, the question is not only whether he can outshine Mitt Romney, whose RNC speech peaked at 14,289 tweets per minute -- but whether he can beat out the Twitter superstars from his own party.

Presented by

Molly Ball is a staff writer covering national politics at The Atlantic.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In