Yahoo to Unveil Extensive Yearlong Effort to Cover Presidential Election

The Republican presidential candidates at last month's debate in Las Vegas.
The Republican presidential candidates at last month's debate in Las Vegas.
 Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Yahoo is promising the most extensive political coverage in its history, beginning Tuesday with live interviews of the eight top Republican candidates for president and through to Election Day on Nov. 6, 2012.

Yahoo is set to announce Tuesday its yearlong effort to cover the presidential election in a unique way that includes building on a relationship it struck a month ago with ABC News.

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The initiative calls for a documentary-style reality Internet show called Remake America whereby eight American families will be followed with video cameras with the political issues explored from their perspectives. A casting call begins Tuesday, and the families will be chosen by January.

Another addition to Yahoo’s effort is the Signal, a Web site that will use sophisticated prediction models that combines data from InTrade -- where users can gamble on the outcome of political events -- with the latest polls along with Twitter and other social-networking data to determine the odds of various political outcomes. On Tuesday, for example, the Signal said that Herman Cain’s chances for becoming the Republican nominee for president were nearly cut in half, to 3.8 percent, after Gloria Allred’s press conference Monday with a woman claiming she was sexually harassed by Cain 14 years ago.

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In the future, the Signal will feature predictive-type games and other interactive elements.

Yahoo has also partnered with journalists and opinion writers from the left and right, like The Atlantic, FactCheck.org, Forbes, National Journal, The Week and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com.

“We’re trying to do something more than just expanded political coverage,” said Robertson Barrett, vp news and finance at Yahoo.

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The various elements will be rolled out piecemeal and land at news.yahoo.com/elections-2012 before making their way to various Yahoo pages. About 50 Yahoo employees are  working on the initiative, which includes text, photos and video. Celebrity donations to political parties and candidates will also be tracked.

Yahoo will lean heavily on ABC News, with collaborative efforts that will include anchors and commentators like George Stephanopoulos and Jake Tapper.

Yahoo said it reaches nearly 90 percent of voting-age adults in the U.S. each month.

“In this time of enormous economic and global challenge, the Yahoo audience will determine the next president of the United States,” said Ross Levinsohn, executive vp Americas at Yahoo.

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