Presidential Debate Bingo with Past Debate Cards

We played presidential debate bingo with past debate cards – and it the result was really surprising!

In an effort to try and take our minds off the catastrophe we expected the third presidential debate to be, we decided to play Bingo. But we played it with Bingo cards from past elections, mainly because we couldn’t bring ourselves to acknowledge that a debate between two candidates for President of the USA has gotten to the point we might have to check “grab genitalia” off on a list.

What started as a fun diversion actually gave us some cool insights into the debate. Here are our top 5 take-homes:

Healthcare and illegal immigration are the most persistent topic

So Alex didn’t get to check off “Romneycare” on his bingo card (we were sad about that too) but healthcare has been part of the presidential debate since 2004. Once again it was a hot topic that was passionately debated, especially in the final section. Illegal immigration doesn’t seem to be going off the presidential anytime soon. It’s been popular enough a topic to be on the bingo cards since 2008.
healthcare debate card

Afghanistan and Pakistan have fallen off the agenda

Michael got an Obama-Romney foreign policy card so really had nothing to mark for the first half of the debate. He scored reasonably well in the foreign policy section since Syria and Russia were discussed in 2012, but those of us marking off from older debates see how the foreign policy landscape has transformed. “Terrorism” is still a buzzword and we all got to tick off Iraq pretty quickly, but unlike in both Obama debates, torture didn’t come up, nor did Guantanamo. Once debate staples, Pakistan and Afghanistan have vanished fallen off the radar. I (Sarah) had a lot of foreign policy too … and was on a serious losing streak!


The most persistent figure in debates?

The earliest bingo card we had was from the 2004 election. The only person to be on every set? Osama Bin Laden.

Bush debate card

Catch phrases get lost pretty quickly

It was fun to look and remember some of the catchphrases used in previous debates and realise how quickly these have vanished from our conversation, even from recent elections: “hopey-changey”, “let me be clear”, and “uniter not a divider” are all distant memories. We can only hope that “huuuuge” and “tremendous” become obsolete just as fast.

Barak Obama Bingo card

Alex is pretty competitive!



Alex quickly increased his odds of winning by playing with multiple cards:
Alex increases his odds

He also was the most liberal interpreter of the rules. And, with a McCain-Obama card was the first to call BINGO!