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DebateWatch 2004 Results Cumulative Totals: September 30, October 5, October 8, and October 13 Debates

Oct 25, 2004



DebateWatch 2004, a voter education program of the nonpartisan, nonprofit, Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), brought citizens together to watch the debates, talk about what they learned, and share their feedback with the CPD. Using an online survey posted at www.debates.org, DebateWatch leaders logged the results of their citizen discussions. In addition to the people who took the time to submit their feedback online, the CPD believes that many additional citizens held debate events in their homes and communities where they watched and discussed the debates but did not report their results.

Cumulative results of the DebateWatch survey, including the following items, are presented in the table below:

  • Numbers of participants
  • Numbers of DebateWatch groups
  • Number of states
  • % of participants reporting changes in how closely they will follow the election, as a result of DebateWatch
  • Most valuable debate topics
  • Debate and election topics that citizens most wanted to hear about after watching the debate(s)
  • Feedback on the value of the town hall meeting format
  • Demographics (gender, race, age)

Overall Summary

Total number of participants

30,044

Estimated number of DW groups

2,003

Number of states, territories, and other locations where DebateWatches were held

50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and abroad

% of participants who reported that participating in DebateWatch would influence how closely they follow the election

24%

Types of locations were DebateWatch events were held (% estimated)

  • High schools and colleges, 50%
  • Private homes, 35%
  • Community locations (i.e., libraries, civic clubs, restaurants), 15%

Suggested Debate Topics: DebateWatch participants suggested the following topics for debates.

Suggested Topic #1

Economic Issues, 25%

Suggested Topic #2

Health and Healthcare,14%

Suggested Topic #3

Education,14%

Suggested Topic #4

Iraq and National Security,13%

Suggested Topic #5

Environment and Energy, 8%

Suggested Topic #6

Civil rights and liberties, 8%

Others (combined)

21%

Suggested Election Topics: DebateWatch participants wanted to hear more about the following topics in the post-debate phase of the election.

Suggested Topic #1

Economic Issues, 22%

Suggested Topic #2

Health and Healthcare, 15%

Suggested Topic #3

National Security, 14%

Suggested Topic #4

Education, 14%

Suggested Topic #5

Environment and Energy, 12%

Suggested Topic #6

Social Security, 5%

Others (combined)

All other categories, 18%

September 30 Presidential Debate

Number of participants

13,522

Number of DebateWatch groups

511

Most useful topic presented in the debate

Iraq and War on Terror, 45%

2nd most useful topic

Nuclear Proliferation, 15%

3rd most useful topic

North Korea, 13%

4th most useful topic

Homeland Security, 9%

October 5 Vice Presidential Debate

Number of participants

3,599

Number of DebateWatch groups

286

Most useful topic presented in the debate

Iraq and National Security, 21%

2nd most useful topic

Health and Healthcare, 15%

3rd most useful topic

Poverty and Jobs, 13%

4th most useful topic

Differences in candidates 10%

October 8 Town Hall Presidential Debate

Number of participants

4,692

Number of DebateWatch groups

434

Number of participants who reported that the town hall meeting format was more valuable than the traditional format

32%

Most useful topic presented in the debate

Iraq and National Security, 23%

2nd most useful topic

Economic Issues, 20%

3rd most useful topic

Healthcare, 12%

4th most useful topic

Environment, 7%

October 13 Presidential Debate

Number of participants

8,231

Number of DebateWatch groups

771

Most useful topic presented in the debate

Economic Issues, 25%

2nd most useful topic

Health and Healthcare, 18%

3rd most useful topic

Education, 13%

4th most useful topic

Social Security,10%

Demographics: All debates

Males

43%

Females

57%

 

 

Age: under 18

5%

Age: 18-25

45%

Age: 26-40

18%

Age: 41-55

11%

Age: over 55

21%

African American

27%

Asian American

3%

Hispanic

7%

Native American

1%

White

60%

Other

2%

For additional information, email Heather Balas, Director of Voter Education, at hbalas@debates.org.


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