Archives for posts with tag: politics

By most reported accounts, Barack Obama won Wednesday’s faceoff by not losing to John McCain.

The unfortunate thing about these televised events it that they sounded a lot like stump speeches and talking points, rather than any real discussion of plans and intentions.

Impressions are all the voting public is left with, so I thought I’d publish a poll:

There are lots and lots of ways to keep up with tonight’s town hall between John McCain and Barack Obama.

You could watch on TV, of course, but what fun is that? Here are a few suggestions to make your viewing experience more engaging:

  • Graphic designer Erica Smith, whose creative and prolific mind has come up with the oft-cited Paper Cuts newspaper layoffs mashup, has just launched Presidential Bingo. Pick your candidate or pundit and mark away.
  • CurrentTV is again airing Hack the Debate. Watch on cable or online. If you’re on Twitter, include the hashtag #current somewhere in your message (at the end is good) and it’ll show up on the broadcast.
  • Update: NPR has two engagement efforts on Twitter tonight:
      Fact check the debate: Think one of the candidates is wrong? Find a source that proves it and tweet the URL with the #factcheck hashtag. You can monitor fact checking here. Need more detailed instructions? NPR’s got em.
      Rate the Debate: Send a Twitter message with the hashtag #dialtest and monitor one of two ways: verbally and graphically on Plodt.

      To participate:

      1. Follow Plodt on Twitter.

      2. Tweet about the debate, ranking the candidates’ performance on a scale of 1 to 10. For instance:
      Let me be clear, I’m ambivalent. *Obama 5.3*

      If they use the words Main Street one more time, I’m going to slit my wrists. *McCain 1* *Obama 1*

      Take that, non-maverick! *McCain 6*

      There are further details on these projects if you need them.

  • For more fact checking,, the Washington Posts’s Fact Checker live blog, which begins at 9 p.m. ET, and the post-debate wrap at look promising.

Even if you can’t be at Belmont University, you can still be part of the action. Enjoy!

While election coverage may be on hiatus, speculation on who will be our next president is about to run wild.

Sean Connelley of the Los Angeles Times created an interactive, embeddable map that lets you test different electoral vote scenarios.

Think Wisconsin will go to McCain? Click and the state turns red. Believe the die-hard Democrats and progressives will come out in force? Click again and the state turns blue.

Assign a color based on which way you think each state will go, then click “share” and embed the map anywhere to trumpet your predictive prowess or just show what it will take for Obama or McCain to get into the Oval Office.

Politics may be serious business, but as the jockeying during primaries has proven, it’s also a bit of a game.

The two big national stories today have been Pope Benedict XVI’s public event in Washington and the Democratic candidates’ debate in Philadelphia.

TV and cable coverage of the pope has overshadowed almost everything else. But looking at Google Trends, it appears the debate is the more popular topic nationwide.

Tonight’s hotly anticipated faceoff between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama airs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. The local station will have a live webcast of the debate and a chatroom going. CBS 3 will also host a chatroom. ABC News will have a live blog. If NBC and Fox are planning to do more than post stories and video, they’re not making it obvious.

Sites driven by newspaper content are live blogging. This includes, the very funny Philadelphia Will Do blog on Philadelphia Weekly, and possibly The Triangle, the Drexel University student newspaper.

But the most interesting discussions will likely be the ones outside the media spotlight. There are chatrooms on Webchattr and Culturekitchen, and of course, there’s the tweet stream.

Let tonight’s battle royale begin!

You’ve probably been blocking it, but elections are about three weeks away. has been keeping an updated list of national polls, including the most recent Newsweek Iowa poll, which show Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama leading the GOP and Democratic hopefuls, respectively.

The primary dates have been shifting around quite a bit, making this election particularly confusing for the public. Though the Federal Election Commission has a chart, several news outlets have come up with better ways to display the information — and the implications of the votes.

The Washington Post created an interesting bar graph that shows the ripple effect of the earlier primary dates, as well as a national map of the primaries by state and by date.

The Los Angeles Times does their take on the national map with a more elegant timeline of votes and caucuses. The design reminds me a bit of the FEC’s presidential campaign finance map.

Pollster has a plot graph, that tracks the candidate’s poll ratings. There’s a lot of data on each graph, though, so it’s a bit messy.

Rather than tracking, the New York Times does some explaining, with a map highlighting the early states, and a date and map chart of the Democratic and Republican races.

PBS’ Online News Hour and NPR have produced an interactive map that displays data state by state using mouseovers. Click on each state and you get additional information and related stories.