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For the Campaigns, Online Debate Response is All About Mobile

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 3 2012

The Obama and Romney campaigns will be trying to reach supporters through mobile devices tonight to talk about this evening's presidential debate, and for good reason.

Half of all Americans have Internet access through a tablet or a smartphone, according to data released Monday by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and The Economist Group. It doesn't matter whether someone is watching the debate on home television, at a computer or in a bar — there's a fifty-fifty chance that any debate viewer has an Internet-ready second screen.

The Romney campaign's highlight effort is a new microsite built using responsive design principles, so it resizes and scales to fit whatever device you're using to view it. The site will carry an embed of the debate feed, will push rebuttals to President Barack Obama's arguments during the debate, and will also carry material supportive of Mitt Romney's statements.

"This site will continue our campaign’s commitment to a multi-screen digital strategy and allow users the enhanced opportunity to engage with the debate from a computer, tablet, or mobile device," Romney's digital director, Zac Moffatt, wrote in an email. "We will also post research, infographics, and video from our Rapid Response Team and feature a handful of our top Twitter users aggregating their Tweets in real time."

The campaign will also be pushing out its arguments through its rapid-response Twitter account and its tumblr.

Obama for America also has a responsive site set up specifically for the debates, and will be carrying a live stream there viewable from mobile devices.

Vice President Joe Biden will appear on the livestream feed immediately following the debate, Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher wrote in an email.

Campaign supporters will be watching the debates at more than 4,000 watch parties across the country, Fetcher said in the email. The Democratic National Committee has also released Romney-Ryan Revealed, another responsive site that carries Democratic talking points about the Republican ticket.

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