October 4th, 2012
12:42 AM ET
6 years ago

Mentions of 'Big Bird' increased 800,000% on Facebook

(CNN) - All politics is social – and the world of Facebook is buzzing about the presidential debates. "Romney," "Obama," and "debate" were the top three debate-related terms mentioned on Facebook, but the fourth most popular term, "Big Bird," is undoubtedly the most unexpected trending word or name that arose from the debates.

During Wednesday night's event, the words "Big Bird" were posted to Facebook more times than "taxes," "Jim Lehrer," "Obamacare," "insurance," "Medicare" or "education."

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Mentions of the Sesame Street character increased by nearly 800,000% after Romney said "I love Big Bird' in an answer saying he would cut funding for PBS.

While mentions of Big Bird grew exponentially, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were still mentioned more than 12 times more than the giant yellow bird.

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Romney had 11% more Facebook mentions than Obama during the debate. But overall on Wednesday, the president was mentioned more than half a million times more than Romney. Obama had over 2.5 million unique Facebook mentions, compared to nearly 1.9 million from Romney.

These mentions include interactions with the candidates' Facebook pages. Obama has more than 29 million Facebook fans, and Romney has more than 9 million.
According to CNN's Facebook Election Insights, both candidates each got more than half a million Facebook unique mentions in the 10 p.m. ET hour.

For more Facebook data on the candidates, visit CNN's Facebook Election Insights tool.

READ MORE: CNN Poll: Most watchers say Romney debate winner

READ MORE: KitchenAid apologizes for tweet insulting Obama

Filed under: 2012 • Debate • Facebook • Mitt Romney
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Let him self implode!

    Nothing has changed my mind. Go Obama!

    October 4, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Cheeky (just for fun, but seriously...)

    ...Further, Earnie an Burt were overheard shouting, "The Blue Meanies are coming!" since Sesame Street belong to the 47% of Americans. Gov. Romney mentioned. BTW how could you be a Governor of a State full of Democrats and actually stand behind the 47% comment.

    October 4, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Marty, FL

    truth hurts,
    If you are 'truly' concerned about China, you fail to recognize that Romney would grossly increase deficits/debt to China based on independent analysis.

    PBS is a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions in Romney's deficits.

    Pres. Obama's plan actually reduces deficits.

    October 4, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Cogito

    Now I know why they want to keep Gary Johnson out of the debates....all fluff last night & no substance.

    We borrow 43 cents on every dollar we spend, and these two clowns are talking about Big Bird and 716 billion from Medicare. Sorry folks, but Big Bird isn't what's dragging us down, and the Medicare savings they are talking about are just a tiny drop in the bucket.

    The discussion & the debates need to be far more substantive....

    October 4, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. tykl

    @LacrosseMom. Your subtle injection of religion is disgusting. I thought I should do the honest thing and call you out on it since you think you (and everybody on the Left) are not held to the same standard of tolerance (you only tolerate those you choose – rank hypocrisy). As for bullying, check on facts once in a while and you might find your crazy rants are just that, crazy. Romney spoke for over 4.5 minutes LESS than Obama in the debate. So if he didn't fight for his minutes, how lopsided would it have been? Romney speaking less than Obama by 10 minutes? And maybe you forgot the clip where Obama said he had 5 seconds before Leher interrupted him and then Obama rambled on for another 2 minutes. I thought I would offer this as a reality check for you – i assume you'll leave it.

    October 4, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Hugh Jass

    Makes no difference; Romney still has no plan.

    October 4, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Sirned

    Romney said we don't need more teachers but last night said the opposite. Romney wants to give his rich buddy Sheldon Adleson a 2 billion dollar tax cut by cutting Big Bird... Disgusting

    October 4, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Martin

    Let's keep Big Bird alive by making our children and their children and their children pay both debt and interests to China just because Big Bird so adorable. 😉

    October 4, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Cheeky (just for fun, but seriously...)

    Next stop, Whoville.

    October 4, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. bob

    Obama at a rally today said, 'thank goodness someone is finally getting tough on big bird.'

    October 4, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Ludlow Palmer

    Romney scored points last night based on style, but it oesn't change the facts that (A) The man still lies all the time, including last night at the debate. (2) He STILL won't give out specifics or talk about actual facts and figures relating to his plans, and (C) He's still the guy who dumps on hal;f the country when speaking to his rich friends & then talks like Mr. Rogers when he tries to convince us that he's concerned about all of us. What about his tax plan, his own taxes, his "emergency room" health plan, foreign investments & bank accounts, blatant lies in his ads, etc. etc. etc. Why didn't the President use any of that stuff last night? I don't know, but Romney's still the governer that didn't want to govern in Massachusetts. He did enough damage to our state, I don't think we need him doing it to the country.

    October 4, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Ludlow Palmer

    BTW: 800,000% increase for Big Bird? That's 8000 mentions instead of one, right? Just how often DO people tweet about Big Bird, anyways?
    Just wondering...

    October 4, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Thomas

    The private actor can create a less costly and more efficient Big Bird . Or we could out sorce Birds job for considerable less cost.
    Mitt Did it when he was Governor !

    Just the other day Mitt was talking to a mother of five boys , who's sons avoided voluntary military service . The Mother was crying and asked Mitt how can we afford to keep Big Bird when our future is at stake !

    Mitt can and will get things done . On his first day in office , no the second day . He will repeal Dod Frank , Obamacare and give Big Bird a pink slip .

    October 4, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. DorisV

    Another reason not to vote for Mitt. Cutting funding for PBS is an awful way to attempt to reduce debt. PBS is a very good educational tool. PBS has better programs than many other networks.

    October 4, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Thomas

    The private sector can create a less costly and more efficient Big Bird . Or we could out sorce Birds job for considerable less cost.
    Mitt Did it when he was Governor !

    Just the other day Mitt was talking to a mother of five boys , who's sons avoided voluntary military service . The Mother was crying and asked Mitt how can we afford to keep Big Bird when our future is at stake !

    Mitt can and will get things done . On his first day in office , no the second day . He will repeal Dod Frank , Obamacare and give Big Bird a pink slip .

    October 4, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. A52DRAGON

    Big Bird and Sesame Street get the Bird from Romney, Romney says we need to spend more tax dollars on Dressauge horses (Pretty horses for Ann.) The 99% are getting a taste of what Romney Bain policies have done to the 47%.

    October 4, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Hugh Jass

    Big Bird is a rich job creator.

    October 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. ladyfon

    I'm fine with Big Bird moving to one of the other tv stations that are free for viewers to watch. Oh and masterpiece theater too. PBS and NPR are not a necessity and need to be removed from the funded list.

    October 4, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. DrLlama

    Congrats to Mr. Romney. He was on the attack all night, a thing that he needed to do to amaze the masses of undecideds. I have already decided, but some good points were made throughout the evening.

    I hope to be able to run for office in the future. My platform would be:
    Everyone gets a job and has health care.
    Our military would be the largest and best supplied in the world.
    All our energy needs would be covered.
    Education would be free and teachers would be well compensated.
    No increase in taxes.
    Essential services and programs would be fully funded.
    Elmo would not be evicted, and Oscar would be able to move out of his can.

    Now, I have no plan for accomplishing this....no wait I do...wait, it's a plan of principles, or at least I have an idea but will not share it with you. Trust me, just trust me....yeah, that will get me into office.

    October 4, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. big laugh

    Has anyone noticed that PBS has a lot of licensed content and products that they sell in store throughout the world. I don't think they are hurting for money. Take a look at how much an Elmo doll costs in Toys 'R' Us then get back to commenting. Where does all that money go? Does it go back to tax payers? HMMMMMM NO!

    October 4, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. Fortinbras

    Its a joke on everyone. Cutting Big Birds allowance isnt going to come anywhere near putting a scratch on Romneys budget gap created by his planned tax cuts and defense spending, nevermind the current budget deficit.

    October 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Sharon Mainord

    Romney boasted Massachusetts was #1 in ed., but that happened before he became Gov. They became #1 by doing things Romney now opposes, like spending money on education or early childhood development. He will flip flop and say anything to get elected. President Obama needs to call him on some of the issues he has flip floped on.

    October 4, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Ellen

    I love Big Bird! Leave Big Bird out of this mess!

    In fact I know Big Bird personally and he is appalled!


    October 4, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Harvey

    Seriously, we have to cut everywhere possible. While giving Big Bird the axe is not even a spit in the ocean compared to our financial bind; such luxuries we can no longer afford. Cutting a lot of these little drains will help but still not solve the problem.

    To really tackle the problem we have to make cuts in the areas where we are spending the most. In order they are:

    1) Social Security ( 774 billion )
    2) Medicare/Medicaid ( 760 billion )
    3) Defense and Wars ( 664 billion )
    4) Income Security [unemployment, etc] ( 368 billion )
    I5) Interest on the National Debt ( 255 billion )
    6) Federal Pensions ( 213 billion )

    If we could get rid of the national debt; what we would save on the interest on the nation debt would take care of federal pensions. I propose a ten percent cut across the board for items 1-4 and 6. That would save That would save 278 billion a year. Not enough to balance the budget; but it would be a good start.

    October 4, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Lola

    Sesame Street is profitable! It doesn't need taxpayer money to survive.

    October 4, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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