Forget the political pundits. Karl Rove and Chris Mathews don't count. Don't even think about the Pew or Zogby polls. The real winner in both the Republican and Democratic conventions the past two weeks has been Twitter. The social media forum exploded in tweets during speeches the past two weeks from Tampa and Charlotte.
In a tweet posted late Thursday night (how else would you release the information?) Twitter Government -- the Twitter account monitoring politics -- reported the DNC won the day with nine million tweets during the Democratic National Convention compared with four million tweets during the Republican convention. Breaking it down further, President Barack Obama's speech got 52,757 tweets per minute than Romney's 14,289 during his acceptance speech.
"Twitter has become a lot more cutting edge for politics and for people who want to discuss political issues. It's real time," said David Mark, editor of Politix who attended the RNC.
From Clint Eastwood shocking the audience as the "mystery guest" at the RNC talking to President Obama in an empty chair to Michelle Obama stunning with her impassioned speech for her husband while wowing in a Tracy Reese designer dress, Twitter blew up during both conventions.
While the politicians were talking on stage, listeners were busy on their computers and smart phones, immediately reacting to what was going on. Fordham University Professor Paul Levinson said while TV viewership was down for the conventions, Twitter soared.
"In many ways it's the most exciting, authentic news stream we've ever had precisely because it's not done by professionals for the most part," Levinson said.
In comparison, Facebook is more personal and remains more about posting pictures of friends and family while Twitter has become the gathering spot for instant commentary and discussion, whether it be politics, sports, the Olympics, etc.
"Ten years ago, we'd have these discussions on phone or email. Now, we get to watch it. It's public. It's what's new," Long Beach State Professor Kevin Wallsten said of Twitter.
Levinson agrees. "Most of what you read on Twitter is what people are thinking and feeling. People love reading that and contributing their own thoughts."
Twitter was just a newborn baby during the last presidential election in 2008. Let the debates begin.