5 ways to use social media to join in the live presidential debate tonight (#debates)

Long gone are the days of simply watching presidential debates on television or listening on the radio. With the first presidential debate of the 2012 election tonight, you can bet there will be social interactions of epic proportions.


President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney won’t only face off in front of the cameras tonight, news outlets and supporters will take to the interwebz to voice their observations and opinions. The debate starts tonight at 9 PM ET from the University of Denver in Colorado. It will be 90 minutes long with a focus on domestic issues. On television, the debates will air on ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN Espanol and others. The moderator is Jim Lehrer (Host of NewsHour on PBS).

Here’s are a few ways you can follow along or join in a conversation:

1. Realtime Sentiment via USA Today (powered by Twitter)

View what people think about the candidates in real-time. The meter tracks the Twitter Political Index, a daily measure of sentiment expressed by Twitter users about President Obama and Mitt Romney.

2. Twitter

Official Hasthag: #debates

Some news outlets (e.g. #CNNdebate) or political affiliations may have additional hashtags (e.g. #republican, #democrat). @PiersMorgan has his own hashtag:

I’ll be live-tweeting the first Presidential debate tonight at 9pm/ET. Watch CNN and share your views with me using the hashtag #PMTdebate
Piers Morgan

The hashtag that is being used by the host facility of the debate, University of Denver, is #DebateDenver.

You can follow all #debates tweets on the Twitter Events page.

Twitter List: A Twitter list of the candidates, news outlets and bloggers covering the #debates live: Presidential Debates 2012

3. There’s no shortage of live streams available for tonight.

Here is PBS NewsHour:

Streaming video by Ustream
You can watch live coverage via The YouTube Politics Channel. All politics, all the time.

(Here’s the link to the embed code if you’d like to post the channel on your site.)

You can  even watch a Spanish version of the live stream via Univision Live.


They’re making the debates more fun with Debate Bingo (#debatebingo). Watch, chat and play along.  The chat starts at 8:00pm EST and the debate starts at 9p EST.

5. HuffPo

In addition to their live coverage via HuffPost Live, they share the latest general election polls via HuffPost Pollster. They even have a nifty Electoral Outlook interactive image you can visit to see current results.

photo credit: DonkeyHotey via photopin cc



  1. [...] There are other fun ways to participate in the debate on the Internet tonight, including WNYC’s Debate Bingo, as outlined by Sarah Evans. [...]

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