User Guide: How to Watch NewsHour’s Coverage of the Presidential Debate

BY News Desk  October 2, 2012 at 8:54 PM EST

Debate Stage SettingUniversity of Denver students take the stage Tuesday during a rehearsal for Wednesday’s presidential debate at the Ritchie Center in Denver. Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post

PBS NewsHour will be Debate Central all day Wednesday leading up to the first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The event will be moderated by the PBS NewsHour’s own Jim Lehrer.

Tune in to the NewsHour’s live coverage and post-debate analysis that will begin shortly before the event in Denver tees off at 9 p.m. ET. Anchors Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill will be joined in the studio by political analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks.

And be sure to check the NewsHour’s website all day for complete coverage before, during and after the debate, including a live blog. The coverage will kick off at noon with a live video stream from the NewsHour newsroom, where Gwen and Judy will offer their Political Checklist. The live stream will also feature:

  • Jim Lehrer, 12-time presidential debate moderator, shares his perspective on being part of election history with Jeffrey Brown
  • NewsHour correspondents discuss their favorite debate moments and what they expect from Wednesday’s event
  • A live video chat at 1 p.m. ET with Kaiser Health News’ Phil Galewitz, who will answer questions regarding the candidates’ stances on Medicaid
  • Live scenes from a debate watch party at Washington’s Newseum, from the eye of the NewsHour’s own hatcam

After the debate, political editor Christina Bellantoni will host a Google+ Hangout to get reaction from undecided voters. Send her your reactions via Twitter @cbellantoni.

There is also a set of educational resources from NewsHour Extra, our site for teachers and students, to help follow the debates and dissect the candidates’ issue stances and rhetorical techniques.


As you get ready for the debate, have some fun with our online tools.

Not sure where you lie on the political party spectrum? Take our political party quiz.

And go to our Map Center for an Electoral College calculator and historical data going back to the 1964 election:


You can be a part of debate night with the NewsHour. Send @NewsHour photos from your watch party to be included in our live blog.