I‘m currently watching the first presidential debates, presumably with some fair percentage of America.
There is a graph at the bottom of the screen called “Audience Reaction.” I cannot figure out the data.
As you can see, the two parties and independents are represented by colors on to the left. The Y-axis seems to increase (I think the center is zero, but not really sure). The X-axis is time, so the graph scrolls while they talk.
But where are these data coming from? It can’t be the audience… there is no clapping or hooting that would “raise” the lines of approval. Did they give them clickers? Is it from online reactions? Are the Nielsen families calling in? For these data to have meaning, we need more information.
For example, we need to know if the reaction is from the Mississippi audience or from a national one. We need to know if the sample is random. We need to know the number of people in each group (I would assume the two parties have a larger number of contributors to the graph than the independents.)
Last, I know I’m not the only one confused. Check out the top hits for my search:
(A final nitpick: the graph barely changes… what scale is it on!?!?)
Update: At the end of the debate (and presumably at the beginning) they revealed the audience members are in “focus groups.” I still don’t have most of my questions answered, but it’s something.