Voters won’t get to see today’s debate between Bill McCollum and Rick Scott until tonight at 11:15 p.m., when Univision will send the taped event over the airwaves.
But in today’s lightning-speed media environment, that’s just not fast enough. Reporters and voters followed along with the debate live using the micro-blogging service Twitter. Campaign staff, meanwhile, used the opportunity afforded by the Internet to launch jabs at the other candidate before the debate even concluded.
“@ScottForFlorida looking like a 5th grader at the elementary school debate when talking about education,” tweeted Ryan Duffy, deputy communications director with Bill McCollum’s campaign.
“Bill McCollum is growing shrill, and now he’s even backtracking on immigration and amnesty. #flgop #flgov #sayfie ~staff,” tweeted Rick Scott’s official account.
Bloggers and reporters also commented on who came out on top. Beth Reinhard, political writer for the Miami Herald, tweeted, “No clear, heads-and-shoulders-above winner of gov debate, which means McCollum lost.”
It’s unclear if voters are influenced or even aware of the flurry of internet chatter that accompanied the debate taping, but if campaigns and the media fail to prime voters for what they’ll see later tonight, it isn’t for lack of trying.