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UT Participates in CNN-YouTube Debate

Published: November 26, 2007
CNN Debate Focus Group to be Broadcast from UT

As the Republican presidential candidates convene for their 13th debate Wednesday, Nov. 28, in St. Petersburg, the University of Tampa community will be at the forefront of the national viewing audience.

The debate, sponsored by CNN and YouTube, will feature videotaped questions from people across the United States, including, possibly, some from UT students.

Recently, St. Petersburg Times online editor Catriona Stuart visited the UT campus to take questions addressed to the candidates from students and other people in the community.

Toting a video camera and a sign advertising the debate, Stuart set up shop in UT’s Vaughn Center where she recorded a total of 14 questions, addressing many of today’s most contentious issues.

The questions were then submitted through YouTube for inclusion in the debate.

According to Stuart, no question was off-limits, nor did she edit any of the videotaped submissions.

“I started this project with the idea of having anybody be able to participate in the debate,” Stuart said. “It’s gotten a really good reception so far.”

Also, a CNN-sponsored focus group of 24 undecided Republican voters will convene at UT to watch the debate and electronically express their satisfaction and dissatisfaction of the candidates throughout the debate. The debate will include live broadcasts from the focus group, and the groups’ electronic tallies will scroll in real time as the debate progresses.

More than 4 million viewers tuned into CNN’s Democratic presidential candidate debate on Nov. 16. The Republican debate is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.