Who Won the GOP Debate?

Published on Aug 10th, 2015

Fox News was—hands down—the stand out social performer during the first GOP debate. The news network scored the highest social engagement among all broadcast and cable networks with 1.4 million actions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites) across Facebook and Twitter between the evening of August 6 and 7. Fox News captured a dominant 34% share of voice among all networks and outperformed other news media outlets by 657% in audience engagement on Twitter.

The news network also produced the top posts across news and media outlets. Fox News’ top post drove 199K total actions and included a video clip of GOP candidate social winner: Dr. Ben Carson.

Among the candidates, Dr. Ben Carson saw a 119% growth in engagement on Facebook and had the top performing post by total actions (likes, shares, comments).  Further, Carson’s posts were shared 38,120 times on the platform—the highest for any candidate—subsequently driving a 980% growth in impressions per post between the evening of August 6 and 7.

Dr. Rand Paul captured the highest Twitter engagement, with 40,487 total actions, a 477% growth from August 6 and 7.  Dr. Paul’s top post was a call to retweet to support the Fourth Amendment.

Front-runner Donald Trump saw a 59% decline across Facebook and Twitter actions after a dominant lead in the run up to the debate. Huckabee, Rubio, and Christie also saw declines on Facebook engagement at 63%, 100%, and 80%, respectively. Overall, the Republican presidential candidates saw a 10% growth in total actions between August 6 and 7, driving more than 1M actions on Facebook.

The biggest surprise of the evening was Hillary Clinton who came out of the first GOP Debate with a 115% spike across Facebook and Twitter. Clinton had the third most popular post by engagement for content related to the GOP driving 14.8K total actions, trailing only Ashton Kutcher and Greta Van Susteren.

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