January 21st, 2008
10:15 PM ET
14 years ago

People Meter: Viewers weigh in on debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/21/art.meter.cnn.jpg caption="Take a look at how viewers reacted to Monday night's debate."]
(CNN) - Viewers watching the South Carolina debate Monday night had the unique opportunity to weigh in on the Democratic candidates as they discussed the issues. The red line graph over the debate footage indicates the voter response.

People meter: Watch Edwards fight for his chance in the debate.

People meter: Watch the candidates spar over health care.

People meter: Watch Clinton and Obama argue on their economic standpoints.

Related: Watch CNN's Erica Hill report on the real time viewer reaction

–CNN’s Emily Sherman

soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. Scottt

    I think it would be interesting to know. Throughout the entire debate what was the "viewrs rating" for the the 3 candidates?

    January 21, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. Linda Casey

    I consider it highly irresponsible to show and graph "viewer response" without any indication of what that means...you're showing graphs but we have no idea – of what: interest, believability, importance, comprehension?...it's not the transparency I have a problem with, but it's the vaguery being placed out there as "news"...my dad used to label this type of pandering as coming from "the feather merchants"...which you appear to be just now...
    sign me,
    "Give us some credit and while you're at it, some real information"
    Linda Casey

    January 21, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  3. Linda Feldman

    Hillary Clinton represents combat politics and combat politics has turned this country into the red state vs.blue state mentality. The country is going no where– it is not working and the people who represent us are fighting for their turf and not for the people. No more Clinton/Bush politics. Obama understands this and he's too decent to slam both the Clinton and Bush years– he doesn't have to. The hate and anger I read on the blogs says it all.

    January 21, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. Barbara

    The questions that were put to each of the candidates were very tough, and each answered with fervor, but I felt that Senator Obama really stood out from the rest with his authoritative and focused stance on the issues at hand. Additionally, he didn't lose his cool or fly off the handle on any particular topic.

    There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind, that Senator Obama is the absolute best qualified to lead this great nation of ours. Being unified, lets please stand behind this great and articulate man! Fears, doubts, and cynicism shouldn't even enter the equation when he clearly is working on behalf of "all" of americans. Please give him a chance america. Iowa did!!!!!

    January 21, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. rickraff

    These three candidates have passion and care about our country. I believe they will represent our country better than any of the GOP candidates! Hillary Clinton is best equipped to lead the first day of reaching the White House!

    January 21, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. Arturo Gomez

    I truly believe that the media has been too kind to Obama for fear of a fallout from the blacks, and this does not make this election fair. Obama has got to be scrutinize as Hillary and Edwards. He should not be applaud for his speeches but rather of the contends of such. The media is always inflating Obama.Let us research those present votes and his ties to the slump landlord. He should also be given credit for praising Reagan. Comon media do a good service to your viewers.

    January 21, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. tds1273

    This post is deceiving. Edwards, who really shined in this debate, sided far more with Obama than Clinton. Edwards and Obama are much alike than Edwards and Clinton, both are champions of the people, you, me, our friends and family. Hillary is none of the above. You might also notice that she waits for others to answer, gauges the response, and then offers her own, audience appropriate, non-answer.

    January 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. Betty Hedenberg

    I was very disappointed that Clinton and Obama clashed so heatedly and personally. I appreciate them both: Clinton for her perserverance and persistent message about experience, Obama for the emphasis on change and his ability to pull people together. However, this kind of debate was not really a debate about issues at all, but a roughhouse old-fashioned political mauling.

    CNN should slow down their coverage of such events and reporters/interviewers should insist on depth questioning of debaters, giving them the time to respond to the ISSUES.

    I admire all three candidates for being willing to endure such harsh tactics and still come up smiling at the end.

    January 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  9. Margaret

    John Edwards was excellent tonight! I just wish the news media would acknowledge his expertise, dedication, and unwavering commitment to making our nation whole again.

    January 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  10. Gil - California

    My scoring of the debates:

    1. Edwards
    2. Obama/Clinton (tie)

    January 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  11. Laura

    Who lost this debate? Voters!
    Who won? The Media!

    When will the pundits wake up? They just want to shove more and more nonsense at the candidates and at us. No wonder the candidates are all frustrated and edgy.

    When will the so-called pundits begin an intelligent discussion that will help voters? With every succeeding day we are barraged with more and more blatantly stupid issues.

    George Bush is proof positive that the media is obsessed with nonsense and that they as a community of journalists don't have enough sense among all of them together to know the importance of a presidency. I wonder if anyone of the so-called pundits even understands what dogma is or how a sitting president has let his own filtered view of life beleaguer this country.

    We know these candidates values and ideals, and for heaven's sake there is barely a hairline of distinction among hem. We want to know real differences when faced with real DECISIONS.

    January 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. JoAnn

    Well I have been a supporter of Hillary Clinton, but tonight made me wonder!! She is intent on winning that is she creating slurring remarks against Obama just to get him out the way? He is very threatening to her in the race, but is this the way we handle it? Can someone out there from CNN get the facts straight that the can didates accuse each other of and then deny it?? I think that would be wonderful for voters............come on Lou Dobbs, my favorite, and CNN help us to know the truth in the accusations.

    Thanks and keep the good work!!

    January 21, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. Dale

    Overall a good debate. I think Edwards came out the winner because he remained the gentleman while sparring. I was turned off by Hillary and Barak getting personal. I especially thought Hillary's comment about Obama working for a slum landlord was below the belt and counterproductive. I hope she gets the message that personal attacks are a turn-off...

    January 21, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  14. MB Nekog

    I am SO sick of the media attempting to define what independents think and feel! Come on, anyone with even minor knowledge of proper analysis knows that a focus group can NEVER demonstrate the general electorate! Stop attempting to sway the vote, CNN!

    January 21, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  15. mandy

    Look at this website. Both the opening page and this page feature photos of Clinton and Obama. Where is Edwards? The media is playing kingmaker by cutting out Edwards. I came here to weigh in on something else, but became outraged and distracted by the images I found here, and how they reflect problems I found with the debate as a whole.

    January 21, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  16. Peg

    It's time to stop "politics" as we have known it for years and years. Time to stop and really consider how we can change the debate and elect a person who can lead us together. Unite us in a cause we all can benefit from and make us proud of our country. No more Clinto/Bush politics, you're right Linda. Vote for Obama!

    January 21, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  17. Mary Alice from Dallas

    John Edwards clearly won this debate. The petty bickering between Clinton and Obama was unseemly and will hurt either candidate if they win the nomination. John Edwards is clearly the best candidate to win the general election. He has specific plans and is adamant in his convictions to help improve the conditions of the middle class, the working poor and the poverty class. He is the epitemy of American values.

    January 21, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. Surge

    Obama engaged into combat politics, fabrications of others comments and even misquoted himself like there's no transcript. Obama has slammed both Clintons & Bush years so clearly he is not decent by Linda's definition. The hate & anger comes primarily from the spoiled brat Obama supporters who are as big of cry babies as he is. Obama got busted all over the place and instead of responding honestly and directly to the valid charges against him he exploited, for instance, the sexual assaults of his own family members and reverted race-baiting, deflection and personal attacks.

    To Obama and his misguided supporters: anger and race-baiting are not leadership traits this country needs.

    January 21, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. voter

    I could not take it, so I turned to the net. If Dennis were there maybe we could get down to the business of the people.
    He always keep them honest. I'm very upset that his message has been excluded.
    Whenever we get someone that really cares about the little man like Dennis Kuchinich and/or Ron Paul they call them crazy and block them out.
    Some Democracy we got! This BITES!!!!

    January 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  20. oscar

    Democrats need a candidate that has the ability to appeal to independents and republicans!

    Otherwise it's more of the same divisive politics and a guaranteed 50-50 election that the Republicans might win.

    Only Obama has the ability to appeal to people from all parts of the political spectrum. Just like he said in the debate tonight, Democrats need to strive for a bigger tent.

    We've had a Bush or Clinton in the White House since 1980 - isn't it time for a change?

    January 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  21. Mary Alice from Dallas

    John Edwards clearly won this debate. The petty bickering between Clinton and Obama was unseemly and will hurt either candidate if they win the nomination. John Edwards is clearly the best candidate to win the general election. He has specific plans and is adamant in his convictions to help improve the conditions of the middle class, the working poor and the poverty class. He is the epitomy of American values.

    Leave your Comment

    January 21, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  22. Warren Shew

    How anyone making less than 97k a year, married or single, can not see that John Edwards is fighting for them is a mystery. Edwards is the only one of the 3 Democratic candidates that has not taken money from the insurance or drug companies. Do people really think that these huge companies would give millions of dollars to candidates without expecting someting in return? If anyone does they really are living in a fairy tale. John Edwards has the integrity, intelligence, and common sense that this country needs at ths time. Does he try to play to the families of the dead and wounded of the Iraq war by saying I know your grief, your anguish because I lost a son in a car accident? Does he tell them he knows what it's like to lose a child? Absolutely not, he would never lower himself to using the death of his son and his memory for this cause. I drive by factories constantly, empty as he talks about the one his father worked in ,that used to be thriving with not only full time employment but overtime. Now ,because of NAFTA ,these plants stand empty of what was once was. I honestly have nothing bad to say about Hillary or Barack, but for voters to vote for someone because they are female or African-American is not using common sense, which is what our country needs at this time. I am a registered Republican and at this time not proud of it, and I did not vote Republican in our last Presidential election, and as of this moment, I will not be voting for a Republican in this Presidential primary. If people will only open their minds and hearts to these debates and see what is really happening, they will see that as Clinton and Obama are bashing each other, John Edwards is talking about helping the middle classand the poor in our country, The United States of America.

    January 21, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  23. Nancy

    Senator Barack Obama was able to get to the core of the difference between himself and Senator Clinton. She's a professional politician and demonstrated that winning is everything–casually sacrificing truth and facts for falsehood and spin as the means to an end she has long set her ambitions to achieve. Senator Obama has the ability to lead in the most challenging way–to unite and gather our energies together, telling the truth and rejecting the path of spin in order to do so. This is new for all of us–I hope we as Americans can rise to the occasion.

    January 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  24. Bill

    All the candidates are full of it except Obama...Clinton proposes goals even she knows are impossible to achieve under the American political system

    January 21, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  25. John

    Sen. Edwards won the debate and my vote.

    January 21, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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