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. hillabeans

    She can always get her Chinese Walmart job back.

    January 22, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Buz C

    Hilary was in command. Obama, as usual did not handle the tough questions... his health care plan is inadequate, he skirted the question about his "present votes" in Illinois, and like it or not he is running against both Hilary and Bill. President Clinton will be an enormous rersource for Hilary and the American people, when she is in the White House.

    January 22, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. connie

    Edwards was silly, snaky and very forceful …Even so he was saying good stuff but his foundation is weak something is clearly missing under the heels of Edwards. I can not put it in words but it's obvious. Either Hillary or Edwards can overcome the Republican in November. Hillary needs to be broken and learn true wisdom that make one a true leader. Obama appears to be more honest. I am not White American or African American . This is my opinion. As a citizen of the United States and as a NPA …I will not ever vote for Edwards or Clinton. America is very emotional!

    January 22, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. c martin

    Roger Conway...since you are a supporter of Hilary...I would say that you answer is childesh given the Clinton machine twist puts spin on everthing......People vote for who you think is best...and Clinton is not one of them.

    January 22, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Roberta Kaplan

    I found Hillary Clinton shrill, caustic, abrasive, whiny and not worth my vote and her behaviour was not becoming someone seeking the most powerful office on earth. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and she sure comes across as a scorned woman in these debates.

    January 22, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Jenny

    Think about the general election not the primaries no President can win without the south and Independents .Most Dem win the urban and big states only to lose the delegates to smaller states. Right now the Dem are their on worst enemy.

    January 22, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. J Edwards, Rio Rancho, NM

    Barack Obama did an EXCELLENT job of hitting back on the Clintons who have been bullying him for weeks. He was sharp and authoriative, allowed Hillary to be the shrill shrew that is her nature and he was able to demonstrate some remarkable wit. John Edwards made himself relevant in the election again and this will be an important moment for him.

    To all of the Obama supporters who were worried Obama might not be able to stand up to attacks, Obama showed he can. Plus he demonstrated one thing Hillary is not: a willing to truly and honestly reach across the aisle to his Republican colleagues and get things done. Hillary will just continue to fight the same old battles of the 1990s. It's time to move on and Barack Obama showed he is the man to do the job.

    I welcome an Obama/Edwards ticket... Hillary will make a great LBJ as Senate Majority Leader.

    January 22, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. rick

    i agree with curiosityhasme clinton an edwards need to team up an get obamaout of there he skips around questions an wont give a straight yes or no do we need that in the white house no we already have one in there like that now clinton an edwards will do our country more good than any of the candiates runnin

    January 22, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. HC

    Interesting how CNN posted v.cifaldi&paul's comment, but takes forever to moderate posts that actually make sense.

    January 22, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Oscar, Rio Vista, CA

    Get a clue CNN. You all pamper to so-called undeciders so anyone who thinks they can get to participate in your "tests" or get to ask a question, or get a better seat in a debate will tell you they are undecided.

    Last evening was a perfect example. Apparently, your testers all thought John Edwards won the debate, but they all came away saying they would vote for Obama. If they were truly undecided they would say they are going to give John Edwards a closer look.

    By the way, I am undecided so can I sit in the front row during the California debate and ask a question to the candidates. I'd like to ask Obama what make of toothpaste he uses because he has such a lovely smile.

    January 22, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. aPuerto Rican

    I felt Mr. Edward was a strong debator, but I also saw the race issue taking center stage, not the enourmous problems this great counrty is going though. I've not heard what I feel this counrty needs to hear for are better welfare. A strong America is needed not a divided one. Our enemies are enjoying this and laughing. I've serve our counrty, I have a nephew that has been in the war zone four times, and currently there, I have cousins who have serve this great nation, yet I hear little about this war in these debates, 'LITTLE", its so sad. Yet I feel a new face is needed for our great counrty. Not because he is a African American, but because he can't do no worst than the last three commander-in-chiefs. He may be able to turn this great nation around, God I don't know, but I will be given Mr. Obama my vote. Am a indepenent, who believe we do need this " CHANGE" he is promising. I speak for myself as a Puerto Rican American and not for Latino America, but if in fact the Latino America is thinking there our to much African American repersentation, we need to stand up and be accounted for and not let the polls to do our talking, am not. Thank You.

    January 22, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. rabblerouser

    This should have been renamed as the South Carolina Slugfest…The more I see and hear Obama the more I am convinced that though he is well intentioned, he is politically naive (perhaps inexperienced?) and his solutions to problems seem simplistic or at least not as complex as they ought to be given the complexity of the problems themselves.

    When his record or his statements are criticized, he simply retorts "It's not true," but never substantially or fully gives evidence of how they are not true. If he were writing a research paper where he was trying to argue a point, I'd send him back for a re-write or two.

    And I guess I just don't agree with his managerial method of the bottom up rather than the top down. He sounds like my boss and what happens with that style is that we (the little people) do all the work and he (the boss, the manager, the president) gets all the glory. No thank you.

    So until someone else proves his mettle, my vote is still for Hillary because she's got the feistiness and the tenacity to slug her way through the political mire that is Washington in order to make her policies a reality. This isn't a contest between good and evil, the street smart, savy Hillary as Evil against the naive, innocent and hence good Obama. This is about sending the most capable person to this most difficult of jobs and I'd rather have someone who can fight tactically and tenaciously to get something like healthcare reform passed, than someone who speaks in generalities of hope and change and doesn't even see a punch coming.

    January 22, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Mar T

    Hillary and John were the winners! Obama could not answer tough questions, and continually got flustered, and was full of "run on" sentences that didn't make any sense at all! Edwards was very strong, and definitely let people know that he is a real contender in this race.

    January 22, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Deb

    I am so sick of Obama taking jabs at Hillary and Edwards then trying to wiggle out of it and change the subject so he won't get a response out of them. I was so tickled to see Hillary and Edwards come back at him and not let him get away with it. Also if Obama doesn't want Bill talking then he needs to tell his wife Michelle to stay away from the microphone too! She has put her foot in her mouth more than once already. I used to like Obama, but the more I see him and after last nights battle, I'm voting for Clinton. She is ready to run this country. Obama still has alot of growing up to do. He might be a good president, but that's aways down the road, not this election! HILLARY YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Clare Gibert

    Ever since I read Obama's second book, I have been saying that he is basically a conservative–with the exception that he will always do the bidding of his favorite union, UNITE HERE. Over the last two weeks, and last night when he had to admit the facts about his voting record and had to admit that he is NOT supporting universal health care for ALL Americans, his actual positions are becoming quite clear. He is as right wing as we have seen in recent memory in the Democratic party. What seems worse, though, is that he seems to be all rhetoric and no real substance. I am particulary concerned about his reactions to criticism–he seems to believe that other candidates, and people in general, don't have the right to question or criticize him...America does not need another president who cannot tolerate scrutiny, nor admit when he has made a mistake. I have decided to support Hillary!

    January 22, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Ruby Pender

    I remember a time when CNN was a source of news that America could depend on to be non-bias. During the debate last night, Wolff constantly interrupted Edwards while he let Clinton and Obama ramble on. It seemed to me that he thinks that Obama and Clinton are the only Democratic runners for President. Has CNN become yet another News station that we cannot depend on to give us the whole truth and allow us to decide for ourselves?

    January 22, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Armand

    I watched the entire debate and i have mix opinions. to my personal opinion John Edwards won the debate by staying calm and weightin in when he disagree or have something really important to say, he was accurate and really talk to america not just the people present in the debate. Hillary Clinton was smart, ask some tough questions that the media refuse to ask about Obama's records, it wasnt an attack, simply telling the truth about his voting records in the Illinos senate, overall, Hillary was talking to the general americans watching the debate all over and she knew exactly what she was doing, she is ready to be president now. Obama on the other hand was aggressive and denied everything was thrown at him, he always makes excuses and uses his favorita phrase a lot, " what i said was" , to me this is an excuse to not face the facts, he has not a good record, he is a very new person to politics and so therefore we cannot expect much from him, unfortunately the change he is offering is not adequate at this time, the country is facing hard times, economin crisis, a war and we need someone capable, i dont think he is at this moment, maybe in 4 or 8 years but now Hillary Clinton seem to be the most capable to be in the White House.

    January 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. kim

    My Vote goes to JOHN EDWARDS.

    I'm tired of all of the press ignoring him. I think he could be winning if he got half the press the others have received.

    GO J O H N!!!

    January 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Smitty

    It was great to finally witness an opportunity for the candidates to at least try and answer , at length, a question put to them! I, too, am upset with the attacks, mostly on Sen. Obama. I think he did an admirable job in trying to rectify the misleading statements being made about his voting record in Illinois, among other items. I say...go Obama, all the way to the White House, possibly with John Edwards as his running mate. I just hope that Edwards is not forming some kind of an alliance with H. Clinton.

    Most importantly, though, let us hope that the so-called mudslinging can stop and true debate on the issues can begin!

    January 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Tre- Rockville MD

    Barack HAS my vote hands down, there is no question at all, becuz he is a UNITER not a DIVIDER, which is what this nation NEEDS right now.. not like the last couple of Presidents who demonstrated and divided this nation almost back the the era of the civil war, and guess what? I'm a republican and african american and will stay a republican..but I also as a voter, I vote for the BEST person according to their RECORD. I research as much information as possible to determined who is best to hold the office of President. Especially in these trying times for america right now. Hillary and this socialized health care is for the birds, if you have read up on countries that have a socialized health care system, you will learn that there will be a increased taxes to pay for it... and also the health system compared and noted as such, is less than desired for the patient, for instance, with a socialized health care system, you will have to WAIT for your doctor's appointments, which could takes weeks to MONTHS to get a actual date confirmed, and there is no such thing as specialty-DOCTORS...and if you need immediate medical procedures? Will not hold presidence toward a ailing patient...they TOO will have to wait weeks to months to be seen by a doctor. You lose your primarily doctor relationship, you will be seen by any doctor in what ever field of ailment you have. Edwards, is to passive for me, he talks a good game of politics, but he is not solid on his record and he seems to flip and flop at times to accommodate the moment. People do your home- work and research before your vote on either side of the aisle come Nov. 2nd'08

    January 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. Billary taking heat..


    Wow did you see the same debate as me and all the analysts watching? Because I'm pretty sure Billary's slash campaign was shown for what it was and Hillary blew up when the pressure was on. This was Obama's strongest debate yet, Edwards I would say also had a strong debate but only because he stayed out of the crossfire between Hillary and Barack.

    January 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. spencer ruggiero

    the problem obama has is his inexperience in politics is showing in these debates he needs to remember what he says but most important he might want to pay closer attention to the fact bill clinton is a very intelligent man and this country was in the best economic situation it had been in in in over 50 years when he was president and the american people by majority would still vote for bill clinton if they could however hillary unlike any other candidate in the past has the opportunity to bring this country back to where it was economically during the clinton years and the truth be known barak would give anything to have the opportunity to call bill clinton for advice so let them continue to argue in front of the american people from watching obama attempt to discredit hillary you would think jerry springer had endorsed him not oprah im sure she is rethinking that one

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Chris

    Great job John Edwards...You have my vote

    January 22, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Sheila

    Hillary Clinton most definitely won the debate last night. She is the most intelligent, strong, and compassionate presidential candidate this country has produced since her husband was in office. Why are the American people so afraid of a strong and smart woman? Hillary is the most qualified person to get this country out of the "funk" of the last seven and a half years. She gets her points across well, and she knows what it takes to get this ailing country back on the right track. I firmly believe that she has the best interests of the American people at heart, and I believe she truly cares about the lower and middle income people of our nation. At the debate last night she answered all questions with the air of leadership, and when challenged she held her ground and was not about to be "dogpiled" like she was in a previous debate. She responded like a PRESIDENT-–and I am PRAYING that the American people will "wise up" and elect the best woman for the job. YOU GO, HILLARY!!!!! I'm with you all the way!!

    January 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. H Sanchez

    I will vote for John McCain before I vote for Obama. Obama speaks eloquently–no doubt– by borrowing from every famous speech ever given by greats like MLK. But, he lacks the experience and the substance to understand the true meaning of his borrowed words, and much less does he know how to take an idea and make it a reality.

    He is passionate and eloquent and his coy and defensive. He relies on his oratory gift to obfuscate the issues, hide his record, and attack others in the snidest of ways, with condescension. He has become so predictable. His mode of operanda is to start with a compliment or in agreement, only to turn immediately and attack. This reminds of the "smart asses" we all deal with on daily basis who will tell us "you know something, but I know it all".

    I just wish Senators Clinton and Edwards had pushed a little harder, he was ready to break. His ire was apparent; he was one inch away from blowing his wolf disguise.

    Lastly, as a Latino, I can not support him yet. He has remained silent on issues of relevance to Latinos. It is safest for him because the ethnocentric Black vote will likely turn on him. To most Blacks it is okay for Whites and Latinos to speak to the issues of interest to Latinos, for a Black politician is usually not. If he is going to claim his mantra of “unifier”, then he needs to needs to bridge the racial divide that exists between Blacks and Latinos. McCain has done more on this regard than he has.

    January 22, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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