Centre web poll named "Hot Site" by PoliticsOnline
DANVILLE, KY -- The Vice Presidential Web Poll launched last week by Centre College has been named "Hot Site of the Week" by PoliticsOnline. In a description of the Centre poll, PoliticsOnline staffer Joshua Strimple says the college has hit the hottest topic of the moment in the world of politics: running mates. He also calls the poll a good example of the role the Internet can play in encouraging voter participation.
Phil Noble, founder of PoliticsOnline.com, says of the Centre poll: "This site is unique. It illustrates how the Internet can really bring politics directly to the fingertips of anyone who has online access. It is also a great way to begin to get people excited about the vice presidential debate."
Centre will host this year's only national vice presidential debate, set for Thursday, Oct. 5. The college launched the web poll (www.centre.edu/web/news/presdebate/poll) to promote interest in the debate while also encouraging voter participation and interaction in the election.
On-line visitors can register their choice of vice presidential candidates from a list prepared by Clarence Wyatt, Pottinger Associate Professor of History at Centre and an expert on recent American history. After voting, the selection is tabulated. Participants can immediately view a summary of the votes, broken down by gender, race and age.
Wyatt's lists may raise a few eyebrows, but the Centre professor says he set out to create a ballot that was short, manageable and provocative. "The fun, at this point, is the speculation. Later, the fun is the surprise," says Wyatt. His ballot features seven Democrats including U.S. senators John Kerry (Mass.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.). His slightly longer list of nine Republicans covers Gen. Colin Powell and Elizabeth Dole, and on a note of whimsy, he offers the Florida governor Jeb Bush for the possibility of the country's first 'sibling ticket.'
Wyatt is an expert on recent American history and the author of an acclaimed book about press coverage of the Vietnam War, Paper Soldiers (University of Chicago Press, 1995). He is a native of Kentucky and has taught at Centre since 1990.
Centre College was founded in 1819 and currently is cited by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 50 liberal arts colleges in the United States. The Norton Center for the Arts, where the VP debate will take place, is among the state's best venues in the performing arts, with a concert hall that seats 1,500.
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Public information coordinator: Patsi Barnes Trollinger