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Iowa GOP Debate Open Thread: Pre-Caucus Raucous

By Doug Powers  •  December 10, 2011 07:22 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

In Iowa, with the caucus just about three weeks away, Newt Gingrich has more than a ten point lead on Mitt Romney and Ron Paul heading into tonight’s ABC/Yahoo debate that will, they’re saying, focus on the economy.

There will be two moderators. The first is an anchor/reporter who has done so much fawning over Obama that when visiting the White House she’s often mistaken for Bambi. To balance things out, she’ll be joined by a former advisor to Bill Clinton who is also now a totally unbiased ABC News correspondent.

Here are a few more details:

With Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney locked in a pitched battle at the top of the GOP pack and a cadre of other candidates looking to steal their thunder, the stakes could not be higher for tonight’s ABC News, Yahoo News, WOI-TV, Des Moines Register, Iowa Republican Party debate, which begins at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central.

The debate, which will be moderated by ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, takes place on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines — in a state where voters will gather less than a month from today to kick off the process of selecting the Republican nominee.

To watch, tune into any ABC television station across the country or log on for a live-stream on ABCNews.com, Yahoo.com, MyABC5.com, and DesMoinesRegister.com.

Missing from the lineup will of course be Herman Cain, who dropped out a week ago, and Jon Huntsman, who will be in New Hampshire instead, having written off Iowa.

Also, some kind of real-time polling app will be used. This sounds similar to the “Tingle-o-Meter” they hook up to Chris Matthews’ thigh before Obama speeches:

By downloading IntoNow, free and available for iOS and Android, you can scan your television during the debate — and your mobile device take you to a new realm of political interaction.

“People will not only be able to engage in live polling during the debate, but their votes will actually be utilized in questioning the candidates,” said Adam Cahan, Yahoo product manager and co-founder of IntoNow, in an email statement.

Yahoo bought IntoNow this year, and they’re also a co-sponsor of the debate, so brace for plenty of product hawking… which is fine. After all, this debate’s mostly about the economy.

I’ll post a live link or embed video when the debate begins at 9 p.m. EST. That’s also tip-time of the Michigan State/Gonzaga game in Spokane, and The Caine Mutiny is on TCM, so I hope my satellite remote is up to it.

Update: Live video here.

I’m plunking down random debate thoughts on Twitter.

Update II: Here’s the “$10,000 bet” moment:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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