Host a Presidential Debate Watch PartySeptember 21, 2012
The AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard voter education and turnout campaign represents an unprecedented investment in making women’s voices heard in the 2012 election. Follow us on Twitter and on Tumblr for the latest updates, and check out our biweekly Campaign Update for news, resources, and ideas.
As usual, the political pundits disagree. This time, the point of contention is whether the presidential debates are “game changers” capable of making or breaking candidates’ campaigns or whether the debates are little more than political theater. The opinions are many and varied, as are the predictions of who needs to do what in order to change the game for his side.
But I’ve got a news flash for all the pundits out there: We, the voters, are the ones who will determine whether the debates are game changers. If we pay attention, if we watch the debates and talk about the issues with our friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues, we can and will change the game. It’s our vote, and we will be heard.
AAUW has all the tools you need to make the most of the presidential debates. Debate watch parties are a great way to engage your family, friends, and community to discuss the issues that are important to women and their families — and to remind people to vote on Tuesday, November 6!
AAUW is once again an official voter education partner of the Commission on Presidential Debates and its DebateWatch program, which urges citizens like you to watch the televised presidential and vice presidential debates and to talk about what you’ve learned. The DebateWatch website includes a complete guide to hosting a DebateWatch party with details on what to do before, during, and after the debate as well as general discussion questions to use. AAUW has also created fact sheets on key issues for you to distribute at your DebateWatch parties and to use as discussion pieces.
Schedule debate watch parties in your community to encourage women to get involved in the political process! Register your event as an AAUW DebateWatch party so we can tally how many parties AAUW holds and how many voters we reach this debate season. When you register your event, we’ll send you It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard stickers, pins, and temporary tattoos as well as the AAUW Action Fund’s Congressional Voting Record for the 112th Congress.
The presidential debates will be held on
- Wednesday, October 3, moderated by Jim Lehrer, executive editor of PBS NewsHour
- Tuesday, October 16, moderated by Candy Crowley, CNN chief political correspondent and anchor of State of the Union
- Monday, October 22, moderated by Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation moderator
The vice presidential debate will be held on Thursday, October 11, and will be moderated by ABC News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz. This is the only vice presidential debate. All of the debates will begin at 9 p.m. and end at 10:30 p.m. EDT.
But who says the fun has to start and stop with the debates? Watch parties are also great opportunities to recruit volunteers for the AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign! The November elections will be here before we know it, so it’s time to reach out to millennial women in your community and encourage them to vote. Consider starting your debate watch party an hour or two ahead of time so you can call millennial women you know and remind them to watch the debate and vote on Tuesday, November 6. Or you can end your watch party by asking everyone to gather one week later for a phone-banking or canvassing party. Request a PDF download of the Woman-to-Woman Voter Turnout manual for tips on phone-banking and canvassing, or contact VoterEd@aauw.org with questions.