When Tuesday evening's showdown between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney concluded, the CNN debate clock showed the president spoke for 3 minutes and 14 seconds longer than his Republican rival.
The totals: 44 minutes, 4 seconds for Obama; and 40 minutes, 50 seconds for Romney.
But in number of words, it was Romney who came out ahead. He spoke 7,984 words -- 478 words ahead of Obama, who spoke 7,506 words.
A CNN count found the same phenomenon at the first debate - Obama spoke longer, but said fewer words.
At that matchup, held October 3 in Denver, Obama spoke for 42 minutes, 50 seconds, nearly five minutes more than Romney, who spoke for 38 minutes, 32 seconds.
But the GOP nominee spoke 7,802 words at that first debate, 508 words more than the president. Obama spoke 7,294 words in Denver.