LIVE BLOG: Stanford weighs in on presidential debate

Oct. 17, 2012, 1:00 a.m.
LIVE BLOG: Stanford weighs in on presidential debate
The candidates square off yet again, this time in a town-hall format debate (Courtesy MCT)


This Tuesday night, PoliSci 51k: Election 2012 is conducting a live poll during the second presidential debate. Six hundred participants, including students and visiting students in the class, along with several thousand other students in 220 classrooms across the United States, will be actively responding to points made by the candidates during the debate, which will take the form of a town hall meeting tonight. After filling out a survey, the students will use ReactLabs, a mobile app created by UC-Davis assistant professor Amber Boydstun, to provide real time answers. This live blog will catalog the reaction of those students during the debate in real time (PDT).

19:35: Well, that’s all folks. The candidates wrap up their proposals demonstrating important divergences in their respective policies. The largest cheers of the night unequivocally went to President Obama from the left-leaning crowd of students. The moderator, Candy Crowley, received great reviews from the audience, especially given the contrast between her and Jim Lehrer’s lambasted performance. The audience most approved of the swift jabs and quips from both candidates but preferred the president’s arguments. We hope you enjoyed the debate and enjoyed our coverage!

19:21: Following a summer of gun violence, Obama’s push for more gun control is met with approval. Romney’s dangerous segue into marriage and education pulls the biggest reaction of the night from the Stanford student audience.

LIVE BLOG: Stanford weighs in on presidential debate
The highest bump of the night comes in reaction to Governor Romney’s statement on couples having children before marriage.


19:16: Snaps and nods greet President Obama’s somber remarks. Heavy applause and immense agreement welcome Candy Crowley’s quick wit.

19:14: Romney, defending his press release the day after the Libya attack, receives some ratings of “approval” from the crowd, but even stronger ratings of “spin” and “disapproval.”

19:09: Obama’s response to Libya is seen as a strong dodge to the question on security.

19:08: Obama, remarking that his pension is not “as big as [Romney’s],” draws a roomful of applause and laughs and a moderate spike of approval, as Obama seems to steal the stage from Governor Romney.

19:05: Romney seeks to correct Obama’s statements on his beliefs; however, the audience sees the response as a dodge to the question that was posed on immigration.

LIVE BLOG: Stanford weighs in on presidential debate
A sample of the polling data being created by the Stanford students watching the debate.


19:03: Obama’s declaration that students of immigrants who have “pledged allegiance to the flag” should have support for a path to citizenship pulls in a few small claps, but also a significant spike in approval from the Stanford crowd.

19:01: Romney, building support during the beginning of his opinion on immigration, receives a large contingent of disagreement with comment on “military service.”

18:59: Romney’s sober warnings resonate with the Stanford crowd.

18:57: “The middle class is getting crushed by an economy that the president doesn’t know how to get going again.” — Governor Romney.

18:55: Romney, addressing the crowd with solemn and slowly reasoned words, grabs his largest approval rating of the night.

18:54: “Manufacturing and education” is a repeated promise that continues to receive approval.

18:50: Obama builds off Romney’s response on the policies of former President Bush, discussing China and immigration. While he falls flat when addressing China, he finishes strongly with over half the support of the audience.

18:47: Romney’s discussion of energy policies seems to the audience to be a “dodge” to the question about the difference between Romney and former President Bush.

18:45: Obama, bringing in women’s health and other issues, pulls strong approval from the crowd, ending strongly with his hope that his “daughters would have the same opportunities as other people’s sons.”

18:42: Romney nosedives into a disapproval rating of 50 percent with his response on pay equity for women.

18:41: Romney’s poorly phrased account of searching for “well-qualified women” draws the loudest laughs of the night.

18:38: Obama seems to hit his stride as he recounts the well-known story of his single mother. Support from the crowd slowly builds as he adds educational policy on top of the personal narrative.

18:36: Romney, struggling with the Stanford crowd all night, finally pulls some support with discussion of the debt and budgets.

18:35: “Big Bird” reference, along with “sketchy deal” comment, is greeted with applause and a spike in approval from the audience.

18:33: Romney, working hard to appeal to the nation with favorable policies for small businesses, splits the Stanford crowd between agreement and suspected spin.

18:32: With strong and snappy remarks, Crowley is becoming the potential favorite in tonight’s debate.

18:30: Obama pulls another substantial spike as he lists specific tax cuts he believes in.

18:28: Romney’s push for a balanced budget elicits some disagreement, while Obama’s push for tax increases for the wealthy produces stronger results.

18:23: Candy Crowley receives consistent support from the audience, especially in light of Jim Lehrer’s performance in the last debate.

18:21: Obama’s rebuttal to Romney on gas prices draws more claps and approval from a supportive audience.

18:19: As candidates face off on the floor, mixed opinions are given by the Stanford audience.

18:18: Claps, laughs and approval follow almost all of Obama’s digs at Romney’s past statements on coal policy.

18:16: The audience disagrees strongly with Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration’s conduct against oil and gas.

18:14: Obama draws fairly flat response from the audience with comments on clean energy; however, comment on gas prices does produce a spike in audience interest.

18:12: Candy Crowley’s discipline on Governor Romney draws the highest approval rating of the night so far.

18:11: Obama’s dig at Romney’s “one-point” plan drew not only laughs, but also strong agreement from the crowd.

1800: Hi, this is Andrew Margrave and I’ll be blogging student reactions to the debate for you tonight!

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