Every debate so far this year has had that one term that immediately makes Twitter go absolutely nuts.
In the first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney earlier this month, the term “Big Bird” resulted in 17,000 tweets per minute, after Romney said he would cut funding for PBS. Then, in last week’s vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, it was Joe Biden calling Ryan’s criticisms on Obama’s Libya response “malarkey,” which generated over 30,000 Tweets.
Last night it was “binders,” a reference to Mitt Romney’s now infamous “binders full of women” quote.
While trying to explain how he chose women to be in his cabinet while serving as governor of Massachusetts, Romney said this:
"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women."
According to Facebook, the reference to "binders full of women" led to a 213,900 percent surge in mentions at one point during the evening, and one Facebook page focused around the topic already has 230,000 "likes."
The topic even got its own Twitter page.
And here are some of the first Tweets that come up when you search for the term binder:
Another popular term was “Jeremy,” a reference to college student Jeremy Epstein, who asked if he would be able to support himself after he graduated. The hashtag #getjeremyajob began trending on Twitter immediately after.
What else were people Tweeting about?
Last night saw 7.2 million Tweets sent during the 90 minute debate, less than the recording breaking 10.3 million tweets sent during the first debate, but more than double the number sent during the VP debate, which only reached 3.5 million.
Besides binders, there were a number of other specific moments in the debate that sparked significant spikes in the number of Tweets per minute.
When a member of the audience asked Mitt Romney a question about immigration, it led to 109,560 TPM. When Obama blasted Romney on his response to China, saying, “You're the last person to get tough on China," it resulted in 108,619 TPM. And Romney’s answers to how he would change tax rates caused 107,386 TPM.
The most popular topics on conversation about the debate last night on Twitter centered around the economy, which led with 28% of the Tweets; 17% of the Tweets were about taxes; 16% were about foreign policy; 13% focused on energy and the environment; and 8% revolved around immigration.
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