President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney dominated Twitter on Wednesday night, generating a record 10.3 million tweets over the course of their 90-minute debate at the University of Denver.
The debate became the most tweeted event in political history, Twitter says, and exceeded the activity on the social media site during the parties' political conventions in August and September.
The high point, however, didn't belong to either candidate vying for the White House.
Moderator Jim Lehrer's quip "let's not" to Romney, who asked to move on to a different debate topic, generated a whopping 158,690 tweets per minute at its peak.
Lehrer's handling of the questioning and pacing of the debate opened the veteran journalist to criticism and sparked a parody Twitter account.
Other comments that sent debate-watchers to Twitter: Obama's retort "I had five seconds" when protesting he still had time on the clock generated more than 152,000 tweets per minute at its peak.
As for substantive issues, the discussion about Medicare came in third with nearly 150,000 tweets per minute.
An analysis of tweets during the debate conducted for USA TODAY by the social media analytics company VoterTide showed that education was the top subject mentioned in tweets that also mentioned Romney and Obama. Health care was a close second.
Topsy, another social media analysis company, reported Thursday that Romney was mentioned by name or Twitter handle 3,463,169 times in tweets posted during the debate, while Obama was mentioned 2,966,914 times.
Topsy also found that the sentiment expressed in tweets about Romney was more positive than in tweets about Obama.
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