The Digital Debate Stage

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 3 2012 @ 8:12pm

As the candidates prepare for onstage combat, Alex Fitzpatrick observes the battle that will take place online:

[B]oth candidates are banking on the “second screen,” assuming many viewers will be watching with a laptop or mobile device close by, this year’s debates are likely to the most social and digital in history. How? First, both campaigns are rolling out new microsites for the debates — and

And then there’s Twitter:

Both sides will use campaign accounts, such as @TruthTeam2012 for Obama and@RomneyResponse for Romney, to fact-check one another in real-time. “[@RomneyResponse] will be the main vehicle for our Rapid Response efforts,” [Romney campaign digital director Zac] Moffat wrote.

On that score, Romney snapped up Twitter’s “promoted trend” for tonight:

There’s only one “Promoted Trend” ad unit allotted by Twitter per 24-hour period…. [Romney’s] ad puts the hashtag #CantAfford4More in the feed of every user who logs into Twitter via the Web, and it is also visible to mobile users and those accessing via desktop application Tweetdeck.  The ad, which insiders say costs $120,000, is accompanied by a Promoted Tweet from the @MittRomney account that reads, “Another term for @BarackObama will bring more taxes, regulations, and debt that have ground our recovery to a halt.”