Twitter has been abuzz with speculation, protestation and debate since the February 10th announcement that Jon Stewart would be retiring from The Daily Show.

And the main question on everyone’s mind? “Who could possibly replace Jon?”

Quinnipiac University conducted a national telephone poll that pointed to Tina Fey and Dennis Miller as top contenders in America’s mind. But we at LeadSift wanted to know what Twitter thought.

As a real-time network with 288 million users around the world, Twitter is an extremely powerful tool for conducting large-scale polls and surveys. The pulse of an audience – whether a small segment of Twitter or the entire Twitterverse – can be measured as events unfold.

Using our data partner Gnip, we explored tweets between February 10th, the day the Stewart announced his retirement, and March 9th, the day the University’s poll was released. There were 654,299 tweets about Stewart’s departure during that period, and 63,347 speculating about his replacement.

Interestingly, we found that Twitter’s speculations differed from the University’s findings in a number of ways.

First and most obvious, the top contenders according to Twitter are Jessica Williams and John Oliver. Nearly a quarter of the tweets we analyzed (23 percent) suggested tapping Williams, while 18 percent wanted to see Oliver give up his new gig and come back as The Daily Show host.

Tina Fey was the sixth most-popular choice for Stewart’s replacement, while Dennis Miller didn’t even make the top 10.

And since our data was global, the top locations with opinions on the future of The Daily Show included not only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, but also Toronto and London.

Take a look at the infographic we prepared for more stats about Twitter’s opinions on who should take over The Daily Show: