The following is from the Dec. 13, 2007, edition of CNN. Professors Rita Kirk and Dan Schill of the Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs in SMU's Meadows School of the Arts tracked responses for this project.

CNN to track debate viewers' responses in real time

From Shirley Zilberstein

JOHNSTON, Iowa (CNN) — Politics meets technology Thursday as a group of undecided Iowa Democrats has allowed themselves to be wired for the debate of Democratic presidential hopefuls.

By the end of the debate, CNN hopes to be able to gauge which debater was the group's favorite and whose popularity fell — and perhaps — who may win the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses on January 3.

Across town, six Democratic candidates will be facing off for their final scheduled debate in the Hawkeye State before caucus night. The debate is hosted by The Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television.

Each member of the randomly selected group will watch the debate on a large-screen TV while operating special hand-held dial-testing devices which are approximately the size of typical remote-control devices.

Viewers will react to the debate as it happens — second-by-second — as they move their dials to the right or the left. Dialing right indicates a positive response and dialing left represents a negative response.

Southern Methodist University professors Rita Kirk and Dan Schill will track the average response of the group corresponding with each moment of the debate. Responses will be represented by a moving line on a video monitor.

Read the full story.

# # #