Continuing the trend from the 2008 presidential debates, annual State of the Union addresses, and the 2012 Democratic and Republican conventions, CNN once again turned to researchers Rita Kirk and Dan Schill from Southern Methodist University to gauge the real-time reactions of undecided voters. Using Dialsmith's Perception Analyzer dials, CNN's coverage provided continuous feedback that was broadcast on CNN.com and as a running evaluation at the bottom of the televised broadcast.
For last night’s first presidential debate, CNN featured a focus group of undecided Colorado voters. Here’s a short clip. As evident in this clip, Kirk and Schill's Perception Analyzer dial results allowed CNN to pinpoint each candidate’s best and worst moment of the night in the opinion of the focus group and then dive deeper to discuss with focus group members why those moments stood out.
Kirk and Schill have published the results of their research using the Perception Analyzer technology in numerous academic books and journals. Results of the dial test as the debates occur can be found on their Twitter feed: @RealTimePolitic.
If you missed the action during the first debate, you’ll have other opportunities. Watch the remaining debates on CNN and see Shill and Kirk's real-time Perception Analyzer feedback on-air and streamed live on CNN.com. Up next is the Vice Presidential debate on October 11th.