The presidential debates for the 2012 general election kick off on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST, but you don’t need a television to follow President Barack Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney. Mobile devices allow users to follow the action on a variety of platforms, and some apps have been created just for this year’s election.
Not sure where to start? Our list of political coverage apps below will fill you in on the candidates' viewpoints and keep you up to date with what happens throughout the campaign.
WP Politics: This Washington Post app for the iPad details both candidates’ views on certain issues. It also features an interactive map that shows presidential election results across the nation since 1789. There is a free version available in the App Store and a $3 edition that includes access to political blogs and other content.
NBC Politics: MSNBC has created an iPad application to keep readers informed with a steady flow of political news. The description boasts that users will get “every aspect of the political landscape” with this free app. Features include a tip sheet, a battleground map, video coverage, live election results and more.
PolitiFact: Available on Android and iOS platforms, this app provides you with a digital fact-check service. PolitiFact can aid you in your own political debates, offering the ability to check the accuracy of politicians' statements. The $2 apps gives users a Truth Index, the Truth-O-Meter, the Flip-O-Meter, the Obameter and the GOP Pledge-O-Meter. Don’t forget to check out the other app from the makers of Politico, Settle It!, which can alert your debate partner if his or her information is wrong.
2012 Map: The Presidential Election App: This $2 election app keeps users up to date on state polls and includes a live map that is refreshed daily. Historic voting maps are also available through this app, dating back to George Washington.
Election-2012: This free app lets you follow local and national coverage from Hearst Television outlets throughout the nation. Photos, videos, fact-checking and other media services are updated daily.
For the first time, YouTube will also be streaming the presidential debates and will air pre-coverage beginning at 8 p.m. EDT. Tonight’s debate is the first of three between Obama and the former Massachusetts governor, and will be moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS News Hour. The debate will focus on domestic and economic issues, divided into three segments: health care, the role of government and governing.
Check out our list of live streams to see where to watch the debate.
To contact the editor, e-mail: