Rather than use the boring #DemDebate, ABC News is switching up the hashtag for the next Democratic presidential debate. #YourVoiceYourVote is the social media tagline for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley's latest showdown. This is the first debate hosted by ABC News in this election cycle. David Muir, anchor of ABC's World News Tonight, and Martha Raddatz, the network's chief global affairs correspondent, are co-hosting the evening, and will be taking your questions using the newly-minted hashtag.
It's likely that the higher-ups at ABC wanted to brand the debate with a little more intrigue, and decided that a new hashtag could stir up public interest and pushing ratings. Make sure to use #YourVoiceYourVote to connect with other viewers and the moderating team. It's a little more cumbersome than #DemDebate, but if you have Twitter, you know that the tag usually comes up under suggestions, especially during a live event (unfortunately, the same feature does not exist on Facebook).
The engagement might not be especially high for this debate. The last Dem showdown only drew about eight million viewers, and on a Saturday night just six days before Christmas, people are probably more likely to be attending a holiday party than to be sitting at home watching a debate that's had no change in podium order since the last one. On the bright side, if you are planning to tune in, that should mean you have a better chance of getting your question answered or displayed on live television.
ABC News announced Your Voice Your Vote 2016 as the brand for its election coverage in November, reprising the theme from the network's 2012 election coverage. Although the majority of the team has been announced, the network has not yet designated a social media correspondent. Katie Couric filled the role in 2012, and although she is currently under contract with Yahoo News, the digital partnership between Yahoo and ABC means that she could be back to handle those responsibilities for 2016. Good Morning America features a lot of social media interaction with its Social Square, so one of the anchors could also fill in as the social media correspondent for the debates.
The ABC News team will attempt to bring a fresh perspective to the debate process, which will hopefully mean both a good program and interesting results. Engage online by using #YourVoiceYourVote, and tune in to ABC Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET to catch the action live and join in the conversation.