‘Horses and bayonets’: The final presidential debate on social media

Monday night's final presidential debate didn't break any social-media records—but it did provide what many on Twitter felt was a delightfully ridiculous moment.

Total Twitter activity around the debate was the lowest of the three presidential debates, with 6.5 million tweets over the course of 90 minutes. (The first debate saw 10.3 million tweets, while the second saw 7.2 million.) The most tweeted moment was President Barack Obama's retort to Romney's attack about the decreasing size of the U.S. military: "We also have fewer horses and bayonets," Obama said.

The campaigns were paying attention: After the debate, the Romney campaign purchased the promoted tweet for the hashtag #horsesandbayonets while the Obama campaign purchased the promoted tweet around searches for "bayonets."

And why create a new meme when you can recycle the old? One of last week's joke debate accounts, @romneybinders, changed its handle to @horsesbayonette, thus preserving its existing follower count and staying on trend.

We asked viewers prior to the debate who had the most to lose during this final showdowns. The two tweets below—one from a conservative, the other a liberal—seemed to capture the expectations surrounding the the final chance for voters to judge the two candidates side by side before Election Day: