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On The Clock: Clinton Gets The Most Speaking Time At Democratic Debate

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

This post was updated at 11:00 p.m. ET

With only five candidates on stage Tuesday night, the presidential candidates had plenty of time to speak compared with the more crowded GOP debates — but it wasn't equal time.

During the two-hour-long debate, each candidate was to have one minute to answer a direct question. If the candidate is brought up in someone else's answer, he or she had 30 seconds for rebuttal. Those were the rules, but in reality moderator Anderson Cooper had discretion to allow more time for an answer, and had said said he's not afraid to go after any statements that don't ring true.

NPR ran its stopwatch Tuesday to track which candidate spoke the longest (as we did for the last debate, during which Trump spoke the longest by far).

Bernie Sanders had a slight lead over Hillary Clinton after the first break, but then Clinton moved ahead. Lincoln Chafee trailed for most of the debate — he didn't speak at all between the second and third breaks. Here is the final tally of how much air time each candidate received:

Clinton: 30 min 25 sec

Sanders: 27 min 41 sec

O'Malley: 17 min 08 sec

Webb: 15 min 20 sec

Chafee: 9 min 05 sec

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