Oct 4, 2012 · 1 minute

The first presidential debate of the 2012 campaign is over. It was, according to Twitter, the most Tweeted event in US political history.

I had the interesting experience of being stuck on a train for all of it, so I could only watch it unfold on Twitter and the Guardian's live blog. Going by the people I follow on Twitter alone, it seemed like a clear win for Romney. But how did it play out across Twitter at large?  We've put together some stats to help tell the story.

    • The debate generated 11.2 million comments across Twitter and Facebook (updated figure), according to Bluefin Labs, which specializes in social TV analytics
    • It was the fourth most social telecast of all time, according to Bluefin
    • 17,000 Tweets per minute for "Big Bird"
    • 10,000 Tweets per minute for "PBS"
    • Minutes into the event, the number of Tweets about the debate passed the 2 million mark
    • As the debate kicked off, it had already surpassed the number of Tweets-per-minute seen during Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention
    • The debate generated 12 times the social activity of the 2012 State of the Union Address, according to Bluefin Labs
    • New Twitter accounts for @SilentJimLehrer and @FiredBigBird (among numerous other variations on @BigBird)
    • Moderator Jim Lehrer came in for a lot of Twitter taunting, including his own trending hashtag #PoorJim
    • Top search results from Google
    • A word cloud of 250,000 randomly selected Tweets from the debate (via Zach Green
    • For a set of stats that runs totally counter to the main narrative of the night, TV app company Peel found that Samsung Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1 device owners in its sample thought that Obama was the clear winner. This data, which tracks expressions of support of and opposition to each candidate via the Peel app through the course of the debate is clearly not representative of the wider viewing audience, but here it is nonetheless. (These are preliminary results, says Peel.) 
    • Here's what the candidates would have looked like had they switched hair:

— Eric Grant (@ericgrant) October 4, 2012 [Lead pic from Tumblr's election site]