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What's the buzz on ... the Republican debate?
Each week, takes a look at trends in the blogosphere by tracking one topic across gender and generation with the help of analysis tools from Umbria Inc. This week, we focus on the June 5 presidential debate among Republican hopefuls held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. The debate was sponsored by CNN, WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader and moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer. (June 6-12)

Who won the debate?

So what does this mean?
About one-third of bloggers said "none" of the candidates won, making up the greatest percentage of the comments. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas accounted for 30 percent of the comments, followed by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 11 percent and Sen. John McCain of Arizona at 8 percent. Oddly enough, although former Sen. Fred Thompson was not present, 4 percent of bloggers declared him the winner. Examining opinions about the debate as a whole, more negative comments were made about the GOP debate than the Democratic one held two days earlier. Some bloggers were bored by the Republican debate, while others said some candidates needed more "talk time," particularly in the case of Paul. Others simply didn't like the candidates. There were fewer positive discussions, with bloggers saying this debate was "interesting" and covered more valuable topics than the Democratic one. Bloggers' comments focused more on the issues than the candidates, as in the Democratic debate. Abortion, evolution and possible pre-emptive strikes on Iran topped the list of discussed issues.

In their own words
Bryan on Learning Politics
Who won the debate? [Former Arkansas Gov.] Mike Huckabee continued to impress me; the guy is charismatic, funny, compassionate, and extremely sharp. Bill Clinton had an uncanny ability to seem both intelligent and caring at the same time -- logos and pathos were in perfect harmony. Huckabee has the same ability, but comes across as more genuine than Bill often did. He's a great debater. John McCain continues to uncompromisingly express his plans for Iraq and immigration, and I thought he did rather well in this debate. His defense of immigration was prettier than a rose: I'm sure even [Rep. Tom] Tancredo must have muttered to himself, "My God, how could I set him up like that?" as McCain ascended to the heavens. However I think most people agree on what McCain's Iraq plan will mean in the short run: more deaths.

tumbleweed in a comment thread on Studies and Observations
I thought Ron Paul won because he was the only straight talker on the stage.

Carol LeHane in a comment thread on gather
Giuliani's performance only served to convince me that there might be reason to vote for [Rep.] Dennis Kucinich should he by some miracle end [up] the Democratic candidate. America doesn't need another "Decider" and Guliani's tendency to ignore the the rules despite Blitzer's attempts to get him to abide by them indicated that Rudy had decided the rules didn't apply to him. While there were perhaps moments during the Democratic debate when the moderator could have made use of a cut-off switch I don't recall any of the Democratic candidates making that need quite as apparent as Guiliani did.

cerebral on Blog4Brains
"... I was severely disappointed. ... I have to say that it was not what I expected which is a closer examination of each candidate and a deeper discussion on certain issues. But unfortunately, all I got out of it was just more of the same old GOP crap (sorry, but I have to call it the way it is) -- we can't leave Iraq or the earth will explode, the terrorists are assaulting our way of life."

CNN works with Umbria, a company that collects and analyzes millions of online opinions and review postings every day.

More about Umbria's analysis


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