The insanely long Republican debate, by the numbers

The Republican debate.
(Image credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

You could have had coronary bypass surgery in the time it took to watch the Republican debate Wednesday evening — and by the end of the interminable slog, many people probably would have preferred general anesthesia to get through "CNN's three-hour debate from hell."

After all, you know it's bad when even Donald Trump thought he got too much air time (by NPR's count, The Donald had almost 19 minutes of talk time, compared to the quietest Republican, Scott Walker, who only got eight and a half minutes).

"It was a little bit like a Charles Dickens story," said Terry Sullivan, Marco Rubio's campaign manager. "It might've been good, but it would've been better if there had been an editor involved." The New Yorker considered using the stage's backdrop, Ronald Reagan's Air Force One, as "an emergency-escape vehicle." Even Bernie Sanders, who was live-tweeting rebuttals of the Republicans' talking points, gave up after two and a half hours, pleading that it was "really painful."

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Since those who claim they watched the whole three hours are definitely lying, here's a look at the debate, by the numbers:

By the word count:

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By the tweets:

3,210 tweets included the words "debate" + "too long" 16 hours after the debate:

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Applause breaks: 73

Boos: 0

Attacks on Obama: 29

Attacks on Trump: 21

Attacks on Clinton: 16

Attacks on Carson: 1

"I'm the only...": 6. Two by Christie and two by Paul.

David Foster Wallace allusions: 1

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.