The Ultimate Guide to Live Election Coverage


The interminable U.S. presidential campaign season will come finally come to an end tomorrow night. If you’re looking for a map with updating red and blue states (a tradition that dates back to NBC in the 1976 election, it turns out), we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for more than that, we’ve got you covered, too.

Last week we wrote up some of the best places to watch election results online. Since we compiled that story, additional news outlets have finalized their plans of attack, and more people have pointed us to other great resources. [digg=]

If you want to get your election news from a linear TV channel, that’s your call. But as Slate editor Joan Walsh told the New York Times, “At a time when almost anyone can check voter turnout in certain neighborhoods in Cuyahoga County, I don’t think everyone is going to sit there and wait to be spoon-fed the election results in the order Brian Williams thinks is appropriate.” So if you’re planning to set up a multiscreen command center, here are some sites to pull up:

Video streaming by Ustream

Both the presidential candidates, Rock the Vote, ABC News, PressPassTV (professional athletes talk politics…no really), (conservative Christian coverage — embedded above) and Politico (YouTube favorite James Kotecki) will all be streaming on Ustream.TV. A ton of other outlets, including USA Today and a bunch of other Gannett properties, will be using live Mogulus channels.

The Associated Press will be issuing its first-ever live webcast, hosted by reporters from its Washington bureau, and including voter interviews.

The New York Times has built an online election dashboard that will incorporate news and state-by-state results as they are called by its staff and other major news organizations. On its home page, the NYT will publish videos every 30 minutes throughout the night from inside the newsroom. The paper is also catering to mobile users, with full results available for phones as well as text message news alerts. For alerts, send the word “NEWSALERTS” to 698698. To customize for a particular zip code,
send “ELECTIONS [ZIP CODE]” to 698698. All of the options are summarized in this blog post.

The Washington Post is hosting all its election coverage on an interactive map and timeline. Via socialmedian, users can chat about the election, see an aggregation of news sources with relevant Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube posts, and see hot discussion topics rise to the top.

For live citizen news from around the country, try The UpTake, which will be streaming reports on voter reaction and turnout.

The Personal Democracy Forum’s techPresident is also pulling together a “Twitter Vote Report,” effectively a citizen-created national exit poll that combines “tweets” about users’ voting experiences into a cohesive interface.

C-SPAN will offer live streams of John McCain‘s and Barack Obama‘s election night events via Mogulus.

ABC News will offer livestreams of its own newscast, the scene at both the McCain and Obama campaigns’ headquarters, and a stream of roving reporters in battleground states. It will also offer a live results map, searchable exit polling data, liveblogging and results via SMS.

CBS News will be offering county-by-county results updated every minute, liveblogging, as well as a simulcast of its TV coverage, starting at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Around 2 a.m. EDT, Katie Couric will host a live webcast on and to address participants’ questions.

Current is offering a user-contributed party. Instead talking heads blabbing away, it will instead a provide a pulsating map set to a live DJ set by Diplo. Contributions will pop up from users on Digg, Twitter and

For an international perspective, Livestation will stream Al Jazeera English, BBC World News, euronews, France 24 and C-SPAN, and will integrate viewer comments with some of those networks.

Stateside, there is Fox NewsElections page, and its live video page (and embedded above is a tour of the channel’s election studio setup). FNC will offer a special live webcast of strategy discussion all night from New York.

CNN has a comprehensive Election Center. Users can also customize the site around the races they care most about. The site has its own team producing Live video throughout the day and night.

Live (and embeddable!) video coverage will be available from MSNBC. Also see their “Decision ’08 Dashboard” — which consists of maps, fundraising and other data, as well as discussion.

Yahoo News will be simulcasting ABC News Now alongside a Political Dashboard, and Google will offer a results map with feeds from the AP.

If you want to go old-school — or maybe you’re just driving from one place to another — NPR will offer live radio coverage from 7 p.m. ET (and reporters will be tweeting as well).

As for text updates throughout the night, a great place to check will be Mememorandum, which tracks hot political stories and analysis. If you install this cool Greasemonkey script, you can see a red-and-blue overlay on links, indicating stories from conservative and liberal bloggers, respectively. Memeorandum tells us it will be increasing the speed with which items rotate off its site so that the newest news and analysis can dominate as they change throughout election night.

Meanwhile, who won’t be streaming live? Hulu, for one, even though it got in on the live debate action. Also, no Comedy Central Indecision 2008, sadly. Though if you go to Times Square it’s free on the JumboTron.

Nor will MySpace be embedding live coverage, as it had previously indicated it might. But it will be offering a live-updating map, text and video blogging by the MySpace Impact team and celebrities, as well as user-generated video.


Роман Макаров

Опять-таки достаточно побочная проблема. Вряд ли она кому-то мешает, мне лично как то пофиг :)


to the guy who thinks RED is liberal. I’ll explain it to you. The red states are republican/conservative. The blue states are Democrat/liberal.


One more thing — shame on CNN for use Windows Media for its live streaming and effectively shutting out Mac users.


It’s pathetic that some of the networks still treat the Internet as a backwater and don’t plan to stream their live broadcasts. Unlike a sitcom, there will be no audience for that broadcast the next day so they may as well reach as many people as possible while it’s live. Pathetic.

republi can/ demo cant

The only hope is to know the democrats will assume all responsibilitys are spread out evenly, votes should be shared as is the wealth. Which entitles democants to only vote once for the household as the vote will be tally’d as a groupshare vote. And if that doesnt work we can always rely on the Rep. vote Nov 4th and Dem. vote Nov 5th so all Republicans vote today and Democants cast your ballot tommorow on the 5th as this will ease Poll congestion. Go McCain

lee dishmon

I cant believe people are so stupid that we’ll have a marxist president today. It makes me sick. Let the socialist takeover begin.:(


Interesting. I always wondered why Americans seem to have the Red/Blue metaphor mixed up; it’s NBC’s fault.

To the rest of the world red is the colour of the left (eg the red flag) and we would assume a Red State was for Democrats. Actually first we would think redneck lol.

In England the Labour Party is Red and the Conservatives are Blue. The parties uses these colours prominently in stage backdrops and clothing such as ties and dresses.

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