© 2024 KGOU
Photo of Lake Murray State Park showing Tucker Tower and the marina in the background
News and Music for Oklahoma
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

On The Clock: Trump Gets Most Time In GOP Debate

NPR will track how much air time each of the candidates get in Wednesday night's debate.
Patrick Sison
NPR will track how much air time each of the candidates get in Wednesday night's debate.

Fifteen presidential candidates debated Wednesday night, split into two groups. The prime-time debate had 11 on stage at once, which means the moderators had their work cut out for them.

The candidates in Wednesday's debates were supposed to have 1 minute to answer each question, according to CNN. And each candidate was to have 30 seconds to respond to another candidate's answer if his or her name was mentioned. Moderator Jake Tapper, who acknowledged that it would be a challenge to enforce those rules for so many candidates, said ahead of the debates: "I don't know if bringing out a whip and a lion-tamer's chair would help, but we're just going to try to enforce the rules and ask the questions and see what happens."

Despite CNN's efforts to wrangle the group, the candidates ended up with a large gap in speaking times — Donald Trump spoke more than twice as long as Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker.

Here is NPR's final tally for how much airtime each main-stage candidate got in the prime-time debate:

Trump: 18:47

Bush: 15:48

Fiorina: 13:30

Carson: 12:56

Christie: 12:36

Rubio: 11:21

Cruz: 10:45

Paul: 10:28

Kasich: 9:44

Huckabee: 9:20

Walker: 8:29

The earlier, 6 p.m. debate tally:

Graham: 19:47

Santorum: 15:38

Jindal: 13:06

Pataki: 10:58

Our count of the first Republican debate last month also showed that front-runner Donald Trump got more airtime than any of the other candidates (around 10 minutes and 30 seconds). He was followed by Jeb Bush at 8:33 and Rand Paul got the least at 4:51. Fox had said it would try to give the candidates equal time to speak.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.
Ally Mutnick
More News
Support nonprofit, public service journalism you trust. Give now.