TV & Movies

How Many Interruptions?! The Presidential Debate, By The Numbers

FLARE sifted through all the scrutiny and speculation to give you a by-the-numbers look at Round 1 of the presidential debate showdown

(Photo: Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Design: Leo Tapel)

(Photo: Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Design: Leo Tapel)

By now we trust you’ve read all a whole whack of think pieces about the first presidential debate. The skirmish that pitted the first woman candidate of a major U.S. political party against a reality TV tycoon has launched a thousand screeds, covering everything from Hillary Clinton’s mastery of the “woman listening face” and her “subversive debate smile” to Donald Trump’s suspiciously sniffly nose.

To save you the time, FLARE sifted through all the scrutiny and speculation to give you a by-the-numbers look at the first round of Trump vs Clinton.

By-the-numbers: Essential debate stats 

90: The length of the debate in minutes. It was divided into six segments, each 15 minutes long—with no commercial breaks.

3: The number of topics covered, including “Achieving Prosperity,” America’s Direction” and “Securing America.”

By-the-numbers: Manterrupting and counter-mansplaining 

51: The number of times Trump interrupted Clinton during the debate. That count climbs to 70 if we include moderator Lester Holt’s interruptions too. To put that into perspective, Clinton interrupted Trump 17 times.

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15: The number of times Holt had to remind the candidates that they had just two minutes to respond. Holt twice interrupted Trump’s interruptions to say: “This is, this is Secretary Clinton’s two minutes, please.” And he had to remind the candidates eight times that their two minutes had “expired.”

2: The number of times Clinton “well actually-ed” Trump.

By-the-numbers: Podium presentation 

58: The number of times Trump sniffed his nose during the debate. This supercut is super mesmerizing—and all Kleenex needs to make one great ad spot…




5: Apparently boxers who wear red shorts to the ring are 5 percent more likely to win a match than boxers in blue (according to a 2004 study from British researchers observing the Olympic Games).

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By-the-numbers: Falsehoods, fact checkers and lifelong ISIS fights 

34: The number of false claims Trump made during the debate, fact-checked by Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale.

4: The number of false claims Clinton made during the debate.

5: The number of times Trump was real-time fact-checked by Holt.

3: The number of times Clinton asked fact checkers to get to work. “That’s a–that’s–go to the–please, the fact checkers, get to work,” she said after Trump had told her she’d been fighting ISIS her whole adult life.

2014: The year that ISIS actually gained international notoriety. Trump’s claim about Clinton’s lifelong fight doesn’t quite hold up.

1978: The year in Clinton’s adult life when she entered politics, as the first woman appointed to chair of the Legal Services Corporation.

By-the-numbers: Tweets and technical difficulties  

November 6, 2012: The date of Trump’s infamous tweet about global warming being a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese. Social media sleuths dug it up and it was subsquently retweeted 81,633+ times during the debate.

109,327 (and counting): The number of likes garnered by a tweet from Clinton’s camp shared at 9:19 p.m. reminding Trump of the exact moment when he shared that climate hoax theory.

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10:08 p.m.: The time when’s site went down due to “technical difficulties.”


By-the-numbers: Zingers and buzzwords

15: The number of our favourite Hillary zingers. Here’s a roundup up of our top 5:

  • “I have a feeling that by the end of this evening I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened.”
  • “Just join, join the debate by saying more crazy things.”
  • “Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality.”
  • “And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them, and he called this woman Miss Piggy, then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.”
  • “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.”

Plus our all-time fave:

  • “Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents and opening of new opportunities and nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”

12: The number of times Trump said “Wrong”—one of his favourite words of the night—tied with his mentions of “China.”

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By-the-numbers: Surprises 

6: The number of times Trump agreed with points Clinton raised.

4: The number of questions Trump completely dodged during the debate.

3: The number of food-related prep items Trump used to get ready for the debates. The Washington Post reveals that he tested out one-liners with disgraced former Fox News head Roger Ailes over bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and cans of Coca-Coca.

1: The number of times Rosie O’Donnell was mentioned during the debate. Trump said O’Donnell has been “very vicious” to him and reminded all of us: “I’ve said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it.” Zero: The number of people that likely agree with that statement.

By-the-numbers: Post-debate wrap 

62: The percentage of voters who deemed Clinton the winner of the debate, according to a CNN/ORC poll. That’s the third-widest margin ever in a CNN or Gallup post-debate poll.

41: The number of days left before the election—that makes 42 days until we can stop talking about these two.

October 9, 2016: That’s the date of Round 2 of the presidential debate, which will be held at Washington University in St. Louis.

(Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

(Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

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