RIC to Host ADP/NBC 10 Congressional, Senatorial Debates, Nov. 1

The American Democracy Project and WJAR NBC 10 will host debates for Congressional Districts 1 and 2 and the senatorial seat on Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Nazarian Center’s Sapinsley Hall.

The campus and the greater Rhode Island community are welcome to be part of the live telecast audience. In addition to NBC 10, the debates will broadcast on C-SPAN.

The debate schedule:

• Congressional District 2 Debate: 1:30-2 p.m. (1/2 hour debate taped for
broadcast Saturday, Nov. 3 on NBC 10 at 7:30 p.m.)

• Senatorial Debate: 3-3:30 p.m. (1/2 hour debate taped for broadcast Friday, 
Nov. 2, on NBC-10 at 7:30 p.m.; C-SPAN broadcast).

• Congressional District 1 Debate: 7:30-8:30 p.m. (1/2 hour debate broadcast live
on NBC 10; debate continued via NBC 10 live stream; C-SPAN broadcast).

No reservations are needed but seating capacity limited to 400. Doors
 open 30 minutes before each of the debates. Because the debates are 
televised, doors will close once the moderator takes the stage.

Bill Rappleye

Bill Rappleye, NBC 10’s political reporter, will be moderating each of the debates. “Given the inordinate attention directed toward the moderator’s performance in the presidential debates this year, Rhode Islanders are sure to focus on Bill Rappleye’s performance,” said Valerie Endress, associate professor of communication and a coordinator of ADP at the RIC. “His dogged determination, blunt approach, and targeted follow-ups will make for an interesting set of debates.”

After the evening debate, ADP faculty and students will be conducting focus groups for a study designed to measure citizen response to debate format, moderator performance, issue coverage, and overall utility of the debate.

“This research is part of a longitudinal, biannual study that began in 2004 and will end in 2016,” Endress said. “We’re looking at results across a variety of formats and races.”

“Just as our DebateWatch findings have helped to influence the style and format of Presidential debates, we’ve had some significant influence on the character of the NBC 10 debates,” added Kay Israel, RIC associate professor of communication.

The debates are the second set sponsored by the ADP and NBC 10 this election season, and their importance may be quite significant as the campaigns try to make their final push for victory.

“These races are being watched nationally and, because of their significance, both the 1st Congressional District and the senatorial debates will be covered by C-SPAN,” Israel said.

Through a continuing partnership, ADP and NBC 10 have enriched the local political scene by hosting debates in 2010 and 2012 as well as numerous panel discussions and other community-based events such as DebateWatch. The goal of the American Democracy Project is to encourage our campus and the greater Rhode Island community to increase their political engagement.