October 4th, 2012
12:42 AM ET
8 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. Marty, FL

    Best Facebook/Tweet last night:

    Cutting PBS support (0.012% of the budget) to help balance the Federal Budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive.

    Get real Mitt.

    October 4, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. simp

    ok you repubs dont celebrate to much right now, there's two more and you best believe President Obama will handle his business he just gave that lying romney enough to hang his self... No worries as far as I'm concern after all that lying romney will say anything to get in the white house, and he did that last night, WOW he is such a liar!!!

    October 4, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. luke,az

    Gov Romney looked panicky. As always he brought his lies with him. President Obama was substantive and in control. I would not want Gov. Romney anywhere near the red button.

    October 4, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Bastille Day

    I guess the fact that Big Bird helps educate millions of children at very low cost is meaningless. Big Bird has not been on welfare. Big Bird works his Big Bird butt off. Shame on you Aksarbenga. You must also think that people who have worked for 40+ years paying their social security taxes all the while are freeloaders looking for a handout when they retire and it's time to collect. How many of your family members are "freeloading" on Social Security.

    The Romster looked better than Obama, but he didn't say anything new and he confirmed he's going to lay off lots of people. That's what hedge fund managers do best.

    October 4, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Bloud

    Why do they want to cut funding for PBS? To have total corporate control of the airwaves!!! Control what the masses see, control what the masses think based on what they're able to see.

    October 4, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Valence

    Romey looks to be "Snake Oil Salesman in Chief"

    October 4, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Marie MD

    I guess it's true that the twit likes to fire people and animals!!!

    October 4, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. enuff

    He could send Ryan out to hunt Big Bird. He has the hunting gear. Just because someone can look you straight in the face and lie, does not mean he is trustworthy enough to give him the keys to your house. Do you really want to give him the keys to the whitehouse?

    October 4, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    The president had a dismal performace last night... Romney pretty much made Obama look real bad. CNN, on the other hand, chooses to pick out a line about a Sesame Street character. Epic fail.

    October 4, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Bloud

    Why do they want to cut funding for PBS? To have total corporate control of the airwaves!!! Control what the masses see, control what the masses think based on what they're able to see.

    October 4, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. christopher hogan

    So Mitt Romney says that firing Big Bird will pay off the deficit, pay for the wars and protect social security, medicare and our infrastructure? REALLY??? That's what I got from this debate. Mitt Romney is an eloquent speaker who pretended to be a moderate last night while making all sorts of good-sounding proposals that don't have a chance in hell unless we raise taxes on the richest. But we are all supposed to believe that cutting a couple tiny things like PBS will pay for everything. That's like trying to pay off your mortgage by looking for change under the sofa. PULLLEAASSSSSEEEEEE!

    October 4, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Wilson

    Excuses from the left= entertaining reading.

    October 4, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Marie MD

    Yes, the twit knows how to debate but just think about this for a moment. The President wasnt weak, the twit backed himself into a corner.
    He lied about what he really thinks and has said before. He has been pandering to the tea bagged and last night he moved more to the center but there is SO much material of his plans and solutions against the middle class, Medicare, Medicaid, the 47% that I wonder how now he is going to get out of the hole he dug for himself.
    What is going to be the twit's response about what he said last week, last month, in the last seven years? Can't wait for the flip,flopping to start..
    VP Biden is going to sweep the floor with the lyan altar boy in their debate. The town hall presidential debate is where the twit is going down. He is going to be in font of students and some of those 47%+ that he doesn't care about.

    October 4, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. KB and JB - central Florida

    many of us love Big Bird/PBS and a lot of other things – but, Our country has to face hard realities -make difficult choices... survival as a productive, thriving economy – keeping standards up for all means someone has to take the reins and do what has to be done...
    adjustments must be made to save the country and all of US (us) from the eminent obvious disaster we've been led toward during this administration. 23 million out of work, rising costs, bad choices on priorities of where to put the money (ex: Solyndra, etc) - threats to cut military/defense and weaken us further...
    it's long past time to "get down to business" of running the country instead of tap dancing on it!
    we need R&R – at this point they are our "only best hope".

    October 4, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Uh, oh. Looks like Americans don't really mind being laughed and snickered at by Mitt Romney after all. This debate is right up there with the incident where he walked the blind man into a closed door and laughed himself silly over his own "cleverness". Not my idea of presidential, but then who am I to argue with the folks Romney has absolute disdain for, and who are nevertheless willing enough to vote for him as class-clown-wannabe-president.

    October 4, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. thesaj

    The issue is not Big Bird and Sesame Street. The issue is the funds which are used to push political agendas on certain shows. And a tendency of bias in political coverage, from an organization that is funded by taxpayer dollars and supposed to represent "all" Americans.

    The issue of Sesame Street is a red herring. It would be like you saying we can't afford to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on the military, and do we really need dozens of air craft carriers and stealth bombers. And me decryinging "My opponent wants to send our soldiers to Iraq without rifles to save money!"

    Total hogwash,...

    October 4, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. David

    Mr. Romney did a good job presenting his ideas and vision for the country, unfortunately they are the wrong ideas and vision.
    He will have a hard time going forward because he will have to carry along the heavy baggage of the neanderthal type GOP platform.

    October 4, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Orchid333

    Apparently Romney hasn't thought about the thousands of people who would lose their jobs if he eliminated PBS. It's not just big bird, it's all the actors on all of the shows, all of the news production people, support, receptionists, janitors, etc. that work at every PBS station across the country. Watch our unemployment rate rise if you elect that guy.

    October 4, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. w l jones

    The only way one can disect a person soul is let him talk and that what the president did. Enough said.

    October 4, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Malory Archer


    Just so you all know, Big Bird is now shown on the Sprout Channel so the show won't be missed if PBS becomes unfunded.


    Sprout IS PBS. Turn on the channel and look at the symbol on the lower right corner of your screen. It says "PBS Sprout"

    October 4, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. Willie Floyd

    Anxious to see the ads that will show just how many lies Romney told last nite!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    October 4, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. truth hurts

    Marty, FL
    Best Facebook/Tweet last night:
    Cutting PBS support (0.012% of the budget) to help balance the Federal Budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive.
    Get real Mitt.
    It is still millions of dollars. Millions of dollars we have to BORROW. Let the viewers of PBS support them or let them start running commercials. We can't afford ANY of this anymore especially since so mnay people aren't working and paying taxes. Time to get real in this country.

    October 4, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. enuff

    SEE! he's ALREADY talking about firing people! PBS is sponsored by people (and RUN) by PEOPLE like you!

    October 4, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Malory Archer

    While I'm quite disappointed with President Obama's lackluster performance last night and for not calling mittens out on his lies, that in no way affects my vote. Mittens was "forceful", but his words were nothing more than well-rehearsed, rehashed campaign commercials with very little substance. He again promised the world but gave no specifics, and at times he sounded whiney and desparate.

    October 4, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. g

    obama killed osama –romney wants to kill big bird

    October 4, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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