WASHINGTON - People from all 50 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and abroad have held DebateWatch events in their communities to learn about the election and provide feedback on the presidential debates. Wednesday night alone, more than 4,800 people in 540 discussion groups participated in the Commission on Presidential Debates' nonpartisan DebateWatch voter education program. To date, over 24,000 people in 1,565 DebateWatch discussion groups have participated. The citizens shared their feedback through an online questionnaire posted at www.debates.org.
Preliminary data for Wednesday night's presidential debate show that participants reported economic issues to be the most useful issue (25%) addressed. Healthcare was second (17%); education was third (13%); and Social Security was ranked as the fourth most valuable issue (10%) addressed during the debate.
In addition to providing feedback on the October 13 debate they just watched, DebateWatch participants suggested issues they want to hear more about in the remainder of the election. Those issues include jobs and the economy (20%), national security (13%), education (13%), healthcare (12%), energy/environment (11%), and Social Security (4%).