Elections 2.0: ABC News and Facebook Sponsor Debates

November 28th, 2007 - 8:01 am ICT by admin  

In the early days of 2008, ABC News and Facebook will offer their version of Elections 2.0. The two companies are jointly sponsoring back-to-back debates by Republican and Democratic presidential candidates on January 5 at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. A coin toss will determine which party goes first.

Thanks to the new partnership, old media again will share the stage with new media. The two 90-minute debates will be broadcast live on ABC News starting at 7 p.m. According to a statement issued by the two companies, Facebook users will be able to participate in online debate groups before, during, and after the broadcast.

ABC News President David Westin applauded the new partnership and touted the significance of the New Hampshire debates. “Coming on the heels of the Iowa Caucuses,” Westin said, “these back-to-back primetime events will let voters in New Hampshire and throughout the country see the candidates challenge each other at a moment in the campaign when the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

Part of the US Politics App

The debate groups will be located on the new joint Facebook page created by ABC News and Facebook. The page features a “US Politics” app that Facebook users can install on their own profile pages, as well as ongoing surveys and debates about various controversial issues, links to politician Facebook pages, video clips, and links to pages by ABC News reporters.

Among other things, the US Politics page offers a running summary of voter preference in a section of the page titled “Facebook Election Pulse.” Among those who expressed a preference for a Democratic candidate, Barack Obama has a huge lead, nearly 60 percent, with Hillary Clinton second at just under 20 percent. That’s the reverse of other polls, where ABC News polls show Clinton with a 49 percent to 26 percent…

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