Live-blogging the Obama-McCain debate (pre-game)

Again, as with the Super Bowl, we’re starting the pre-game show hours early, passing along factoids and various elements surrounding the debate you may find useful.

12:16 p.m. NPR is going to try to use Twitter tonight for “dial testing.” They’re also going to “fact check” on the VoxPolitics blog. Their idea is for those of you using Twitter to score an answer and add the hashtag #dialtest to your message. Then you could follow the results here. Why it won’t work: As near as I can tell Twitter users are predominantly Democrats. I actually have no idea if this theory is true, and it is only anecdotal. But Twitter’s Election 2008 section doesn’t come across as entirely balanced. But it’s still a cool idea.

12:41 pm. Here are your Bingo possibilities for tonight. If you’ve got a bunch of Obama supporters, and you’ve each got laptops, you can use this online game. There are four Obama cards here, but they’re mostly geared to the primaries. A more recent board is here. McCaniacs can find boards here. Andy Carvin’s stump-speech bingo is also suitable.

1:49 p.m. – It’ll be interesting to see if the two candidates will be direct with the allegatons they’re raising in their ads right now. Or whether they’ll try to come off as genial gents and just let their surrogates handle the shiv.

3:24 p.m. – By way of NewsHour, here’s a way to waste some time while waiting for the debate. Google map’s Journey of Life for John McCain. It’s sort of a “6 Degrees of John McCain.” St. Paul, you’re on there, of course. Lenox, Mass., however is not. It’s where I met McCain in the late ’70s. He was still in the Navy and was speaking about his time as a POW.

  • Matt

    Check out this electoral map of the Twitterverse (click “Twitter Users”). Pretty convincing that there’s a lot more Obama supporters on Twitter.

    The idea — getting more people to register reaction and using cool technology to get more voices out there — is nice, but this will definitely give skewed results.

  • Michael

    It would also be nice to get an age/demographic breakdown of twitter users.

    It is my (totally unfounded, unscientific, but semi-educated) hypothesis that the election could break bigger than expected for Obama because youth will get out the vote.

    I know, I know youth doesn’t come out to vote. Well, the general electorate may be in for a surprise when they see what happens when a candidate actually connects with and engages youth voters.

    Pollsters aren’t calling me, or anyone else, on my cell phone and, thus, it would be nice to have an age breakdown for twitter users.

  • Well, we knew going into it the results would skew for Obama because Twitter skews to Obama. That’s why we told people to take the results with a grain of salt. I was more interested in observing how people participated and what types of short-form commentary they produced in the process. We’re trying to figure out if there’s a way we can do it so that users must declare whom they support beforehand, so we can separate Obama and McCain supporters (and undecideds, for that matter), on separate charts.