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DebateWatch is a voter education project of the Commission on Presidential Debates (see http://www.debates.org) that encourages citizens to view debates in groups and discuss what they learn after each of the debates. DebateWatch grew out of research conducted by communication scholars in 1992. In the course of conducting 60 focus groups in 18 cities to learn how debates function as voter education tools, how they compare to other political communication channels, what formats are most informative, and how citizens talk about politics, researchers discovered that most participants had not carried on extended political discussions with individuals outside of family. Many participants found the discussions to be as educational as the debates themselves and suggested that the focus group project be continued in future elections.

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