How To Follow The Election In The New Year In 6 Useful Steps (That Don't Require Much Effort)

Following a U.S. presidential election can quickly turn into a full-time job, especially when the number of candidates is in the double digits. While it may seem like you've already endured a few years of 2016 coverage, there are still 10 long months to go until voters put a new person in the White House. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to be more political, or if you just want to make sure you know what's going on, there are a few simple ways to stay up-to-date on the 2016 election.

In order to have all the necessary information to choose who to vote for in November, it's important to learn what each candidate stands for and how they progress throughout the election. Even if you already have an idea of who will get your vote, it's still beneficial to follow the election to make sure your candidate of choice sticks to their agenda. It may also be useful to know what you're talking about when debating with someone on another political team, so you can more accurately defend your stance.

Here are six ways you can follow the 2016 election until Nov. 8 without reading 50 news stories a day.

Follow Candidates On Twitter

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Whether you've already committed to a candidate, just know which party your beliefs align with, or have no idea of what politics even are, it's helpful to follow a few or all of the presidential candidates on Twitter. This makes it really easy to know what they're up to on a daily basis without having to search out the information yourself — it will just pop up while you scroll through your feed.

Watch The Debates

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It might sound daunting to watch politicians debate on stage for hours, but watching the presidential debates is one of the best ways to truly see what each candidate believes, how they carry themselves, and how they interact with their opponents.

Here's a list of all the upcoming primary debates scheduled, so you can put them in your calendar immediately:

  • Jan. 14: Republican
  • Jan. 17: Democratic
  • Jan. 28: Republican
  • Feb. 6: Republican
  • Feb. 11: Democratic
  • Feb. 13: Republican
  • Feb. 26: Republican
  • March 9: Democratic
  • March 10: Republican

With so many, it should be easy to catch a few.

Check Who's Still Running

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As the primaries continue, more and more candidates will drop out of the race. The huge number of Republican candidates has made it confusing to keep up, but you can periodically check this handy New York Times list of who's in the race to stay up-to-date. Lindsay Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Lincoln Chafee, Lawrence Lessig, and Jim Webb have already thrown in the towel.

Follow The Polls

Real Clear Politics keeps track of all the presidential polls, so you can see the latest polling numbers in one place. This is a little more advanced, but it's a good way to see who's in the lead at any given time.

2016 Election App

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The 2016 Election app compiles recent news and debate videos, and will even send you push notifications about debate times. For people attached to their phones, this is a simple way to stay on top of election updates and ensure you don't forget about a debate. All you have to do is browse the app a few times a week instead of scrolling through Instagram for the umpteenth time.

Talk Politics With Your Friends

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If your friends are interested in the election as well, talk about it with them and keep one another in the know. Chances are they saw a news story that you missed, and vice versa. It will also create the perfect opportunity to find out which candidates they support and debate areas of disagreement.

Hang in there — November will come sooner than you think.