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. Evan

    I love how analysts are talking about how Edwards is still in the race and making a comeback, but still end their articles by asking who the reader thinks will win; Clinton or Obama. I think the only thing that will force the media to give Edwards much needed attention is for some controversy. Media outlets are the real reason why this is turning in to a woman vs. African American campaign; Edwards is the best candidate by far.

    January 22, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |


    January 22, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  3. DK Amsterdam

    watched a bit of debate last night and was pleased to see the Democrats for the first time really get to the issues and try and show their differences.

    I think Hilary & Obama both have something going for them and could easily form a double team to win the White House...

    Hilary Pres & Obama as VP to beat the republicans.

    But the focus should be on who can best beat a rep candidate and reclaim the White House.

    i just think the average American is not ready to ready to have the first African American president. But with 8 years experience as VP he could build up the experience and people can get to know him.
    Go Hilary Go Obama

    January 22, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. joyce

    Edwards presents the issues well, with solutions, first. Then they are picked up by Hilary and Obama, as if they were their own. He also wins debates without getting votes. I am losing confidence in the electorate. If Clinton and Obama have to take their ideas from Edwards, they cannot be as smart as they keep getting credit for by the media–how are they going to lead the country?

    January 22, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  5. EE

    Base Man
    Go t o Fact Check and watch what happened at the Harkin barbecue. Maybe you
    didn't notice but every one on stage had their backs to the flag. Cannot believe
    this pledge allegiance thing has not been put to rest. Guess you just received the

    January 22, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  6. Willy

    Senator Clinton was just pandering. She keeps using MLK reference like she knows the struggle. I was waiting for her to use her southern twang. This is one plastic woman who can not answer a straight question. I think Obama used words to the effect towards her that she goes after the “uneducated voters”. He right but what the Clinton war machine did not factor in was that * years when Mr. Clinton left office not everybody has computers and internet and was only force to watch CNN. Today is different and the Clinton’s can’t combat that so they smear the other candidates. Obama look good and said nothing at the end and Edwards will soon be out of money. No Winners not even Wolfe

    January 22, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  7. david

    My take on the debate.

    1. John Edwards - but it's like a 'NOT PRESENT' vote since he's really not a viable candidate. Maybe VP?

    2. Hillary – She'll eat you alive Obama. Don't even bother to attack her. Too smart.

    3. Obama – Frustrated and stammered too much on questions like: How will you pay for this plan and why are you leaving so many out of that plan?

    January 22, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Well, I guess I would prefer to get things back on track, It's the ECONOMY STUPID, and if you can not handle that, then it's the WAR DUMMY.

    Start attacking 8 years of incompetent helmsman ship that has steered the nation to brink, and stop this petty in house fighting. If Obama and Hillary can not learn to play nice, I will be throughing in behind Edwards.

    And Amy the reason that we were saddled with Bush for 8 years has nothing to do with President CXlinton administration, it does have to do with right wing fanatics and a Superme Court that decided to hand the election to a loser.

    As a Republican I can say right wing fanatics, because Bush does not and never has spoken for true Republicans.

    January 22, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  9. Louie

    I'm independent, after last night I'm leaning more towards Edwards. God, can't believe I said that. maybe I'll just vote Republican again.

    January 22, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. Cher

    Let's all remember that Obama and Clinton agreed to stop the mud slinging but Obama was the first in the debate to to sling the mud!!!!!!!!
    And Edwards did good!

    January 22, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  11. James

    I don't understand people basing their vote on who the media thinks will win...

    Vote for the candidate who best represents your values and will fight for you.

    In my case, after his outstanding debate last night, that's Senator John Edwards.

    January 22, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. Jim

    Still independent, but John Edwards has me leaning his way after last night. It's a 3 person race but the media seems to portray it as a Clinton/Obama matchup. Give the man equal headlines and equal time!

    January 22, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. nate, NYC

    What was this – the 27th debate already? zzzzz - look the point is Edwards has no shot and every repub in DC and the country for that matter HATE Hill and will oppose anything and everything she tries to put thru if she is our next prez. If you want 4 more yrs of partisian gridlock shes your candidate. Obama does not have the past/excess baggage and the repubs tho they may disagree with some of his views will have to take a fresh look at him. Use your head folks if you want a change.

    January 22, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. Mike

    Hillary "won" 3 out of 4 states, yet Obama still has more delegates. And so far, out of the Clinton camp, we've had allegations of voting machine fraud in one state, allegations of voter intimidation in another, and a lawsuit over previously agreed to caucus sites in a third. And this is only 4 states into the primary.

    Hillary is so divisive. She cannot win a general election.

    January 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Jack ny, ny

    please you crack me up. you were never on hillary side to begin with. YOu are Obama supporter. Obama did nothing spectacular last night other than looked weathered, tired, stuttered most of the time. He started the he said she said garbage.
    Jen January 22, 2008 12:29 am ET

    Until tonight I was a huge supporter of Hillary but Obama handle most of the questions with grace and dignity, and I have now switched sides. I was quite impressed.

    John Edwards did much better than I expected, I have a new found respect for him although his plans to withdraw all combat troops within the first year seems naive. One thing is certain if any of these candidates becomes president, our country would be in a much better state.

    January 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Ray

    GRET Job Hillary. I know it had to be hard for you to debate in SC where most of the audience was black and thanks to Obama is against you now and thinks your a racist. He thought he would put you in place, but it was you who put him back in the corner where he belongs.

    GO HILLARY 08!!

    January 22, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. John, NC

    HIllary was as knowledgeable and confident as a true leader. I think that more and more we see that OBAMA IS NOT READY to be president. He refuses to take tough stances on key issues, and when called on it, he tries to find convoluted explanations for his "present" and other skewered votes in the senate (IL & US).

    Guys, it takes more than talk to be President of the United States. HILLARY is way ahead of this field. John Edwards comes in second, Obama needs more training. I can almost envisage a preachy, woozy-wobble Obama trying to get America to "change" when he himself is unsure what "change" it is that he is asking of us!


    January 22, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. Mike

    Hillary "won" 3 out of 4 states, yet Obama still has more delegates. And so far, out of the Clinton camp, we've had allegations of voting machine fraud in one state, allegations of voter intimidation in another, and a lawsuit over previously agreed to caucus sites in a third. And this is only 4 states into the primary.

    Now tonight she says she wants to force everybody to buy healthcare even if they can't afford it.

    Hillary is so divisive. She cannot win a general election.

    January 22, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. roger, conway sc

    After watching the debate I can see clearly that Obama is NOT ready to become president. He acted like a spoiled kid when Hillary stood upto to him, his record does need to be questioned and if the media won't do it the Clintons should, I liked how he whined like a puppy when Hillary held her ground with him. Edwards also put Obama to the test & if you noticed Obama became defensive when this happened. I'll bet as soon as it was over he was on the phone to Jim Clyburn crying about how he was treated. His answers are not complete and his statements about unity & change are empty and have no substance....If Obama could not handle the heat from the Dems he will freak out if the GOP gets a hold of him. If Obama is elected president or is the nominee we will be dealing with the race card forever.I hope the black people of SC were not blind to Obama but from the applause he received after his attacks etc they seemed to like what is stands for if so & he is the nominee they will have to suffer with the rest of us ...Black or white I would not vote for him. I was very impressed with John Edwards I think this debate gave him a real opportunity to show his intelligence & knowledge of what is going on with our country.

    January 22, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  20. The Observer

    A point for all the Obama supporters – he has been just as nasty as the Clintons in some of his campaigning either through surrogates or others means – just witness the TV ad (sponsored by Obama's stooges in the Culinary Workers Union) aired in Nevada that targeted Latinos.

    The ironic thing is that Obama has had a relatively easy ride not only from the press but from the Clintons themselves. If he thinks it is bad now then it is nothing compared to the barrage of mud-slinging that the Republicans will indulge in if he is the candidate. It is also why the Republican press are deliberately playing up his chances as they feel that Obama will wilt under a relentless onslaught by their gutter operators such Limbaugh.

    As the old saying says – if you can't stand the heart get out of the kitchen.

    As to the VP nominee – I believe that a Clinton/Obama ticket would trounce any Republican ticket. But unless there is a swift change of tack by both candidates I can't see that happening – going by last night's debate that possibility seems even more remote.

    It seems clear to me that Edwards is now running for VP and almost certainly as part of a Clinton ticket. He knows he is unlikely to be selected by Obama as it would mean the democratic slate only had 10 years senatorial experience between them. That possibility has been somewhat confirmed by recent events with Edwards supporters in Nevada transferring to Clinton and Edwards himself attacking Obama for the first time in the campaign.

    If Obama wins he has to go for an experienced VP nominee – Bill Richardson being the prime candidate – he ticks all the right boxes when it comes to experience, personality and background – a vote-winner when it comes to the Latino vote. The ironic thing is if Clinton wins and cannot stand the thought of Obama as VP then Richardson should be her choice too!!

    January 22, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. jason

    I honestly feel that people who said that Obama won this debate did not watch it. I am an educated Black male and was laughing the whole time b/c of the fight that Obama started and got bodyslammed in. TO ALL OF YOU WHO DID NOT WATCH, OBAMA (YES OBAMA) started the fireworks and it backfired in the worst way. Obama clearly does not have the weight to yet. The fact that he voted PRESENT on setting a cap for all credit card companies troubles me. Now b/c of that vote there is no limit as to where they can raise them. My prayer is that America will wake up and do her research or we are in for 4-8 more years of Bush-like reign.

    January 22, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. m

    What was the purpose of declining Dennis Kucinich the
    opportunity to participate in this debate?
    Does anyone have an answer?
    Why can't this man get heard ?

    thank you.

    January 22, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Enough said.

    Roger .

    Obama isnt ready to be president. However, as we have seen with George Bush, it doesnt necessarily mean he will LOSE .

    January 22, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Johnny Z

    Obama did a great job of deconstructing the completely false accusations made by Billary.

    All the Clintons have left at this point is to distort the facts, but Barack did a great job at countering those false accusations.

    They should have a "people-meter" for people like me who used to have a boatload of respect for Bill Clinton. You'd see it going down, down, down every time he opens his mouth to spread lies and distortions about Obama.

    January 22, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. Tammy, Charlotte

    Get a Grip!

    It's about time Barack Obama showed some backbone. After being pinned in the corner by the double team match-up of Hillary and Bill Clinton over the last two weeks, he came out swinging. I was once a Hillary fan, but now I'm voting for Obama. I didn't think he would be able to stand up to the Republican candidate. I say, Keep fighting back Obama, do not let the Clinton's define who you are, strike back fast and fierce.

    January 22, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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