Launches First-Ever Web-Based Presidential Forum Round

2008 Candidates Will Use Cutting Edge Technology To Engage Blog Readers

WASHINGTON, DC — On Saturday, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Service Employees International Union hosts the New Leadership On Health Care presidential forum in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the forum, — named Best Liberal Blog in the 2006 Weblog Awards — will host the first-ever interactive candidate response round. will allow Internet users to submit questions to the presidential candidates in real-time as they simultaneously watch a video webcast of the forum on the blog.

This first-of-its-kind interactive response round on offers the presidential candidates a valuable opportunity to interact directly with the growing netroots community on one of the most popular political blogs on the Internet.

Roughly a third of American adults — more than 60 million people — go online to get political news and discuss electoral campaigns. A Pew Research poll found twice as many adult Americans used the Internet as their primary news source for 2006 campaign information compared with the 2002 midterm election. More than 50 percent of campaign Internet users say they search online for information about a candidate’s voting records, and 41 percent went online to double-check the accuracy of something a candidate claimed. At least five 2008 candidates have announced their candidacies in web videos.

The interactive candidate response round allows ThinkProgress readers to ask questions of each presidential candidate. Here’s how it will work:

1. During the forum, will provide a form for its readers to submit follow-up questions responding to statements made by the candidates.

2. The submissions will be filtered to a panel of health care experts who will select the best entries.

3. Towards the end of each candidate’s question-and-answer period, the moderator will ask the candidate a selected question from readers., the official blog of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has been tracking the online activities of the 2008 presidential candidates at NetTrends ’08. receives well over 100,000 visitors per day and is the 12th most popular blog worldwide (out of 55 million tracked) by

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The Center for American Progress Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.