CNN’s Best Political Team will add new technology to its arsenal in order to better explain the complex story of the midterm elections as it unfolds on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer, joined by Anderson Cooper, Candy Crowley, John King and Soledad O’Brien will headline Election Night in America, beginning at 7 p.m.* and continuing into the following day. From Delaware to Nevada to Alaska, CNN will dispatch correspondents across the country to check in throughout the night and report on the crucial races impacting the balance of power in Congress.
The network will create a live and interactive environment, called the “CNN Election Matrix,” to break down data in a visual way. With this tool, King visually will whip through a comprehensive amount of information to better explain to viewers the most competitive House and Senate races. In an election filled with partisanship and strong anti-incumbent feelings, viewers will see the race through the lens of incumbencies: which incumbents have fallen, when they were elected, the nationwide impact and more. Additionally, the “CNN Election Matrix” will create a virtual representation of which party is gaining ground and potential shifts in the balance of power.
“We are taking capabilities of the Data Wall and quadrupling it in order to report the story in the clearest way we can,” said David Bohrman, senior vice president and Washington bureau chief. “Viewers are ready for a rich meal of election items and with CNN’s technology on air and online, paired with the Best Political Team, we will serve an unparalleled election night experience.”
Building on hologram technology unveiled during 2008’s Election Night in America, the network will create an entirely new way to display exit polling data using three-dimensional graphics. O’Brien will use virtual graphics that appear in the studio to actually show viewers not only how people voted, but also specifically what groups of people voted. The technology will allow viewers to see the real picture of voter turnout and how that could influence who controls Washington.
The “Data Wall,” which the network first used during 2008 election coverage, will return with a major upgrade. Once again, King will man the wall to drill into live county and state vote tallies and help put the election puzzle into place. Using Crimson Hexagon technology, CNN will be able to analyze, categorize and visualize the vast social media conversation happening on Twitter on Election Day. By listening in to what Americans are saying online, the network will create a geographic illustration that shows viewers the climate of the country and reaction to the results.
CNN will showcase the Best Political Team, including the diverse views of its political contributors, to report and analyze the political event. New hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer will add their insight to the coverage. Senior political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen will join CNN correspondents in discussing the returns, including national political correspondent Jessica Yellin, who has spent months on the campaign trail, and senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash, who has delved into campaign finances and advertising. Congressional correspondent Brianna Keilar; senior White House correspondent Ed Henry and White House correspondents Dan Lothian and Suzanne Malveaux also will add their insight. Political contributors span the ideological spectrum: John Avlon, Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Erick Erickson, Roland Martin, Mary Matalin, Ed Rollins and Hilary Rosen.
On Election Night, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer will kickoff the network’s political-centric coverage beginning at 5 p.m., followed by Election Night in America at 7 p.m. The network will continue live coverage throughout the night and into early morning Wednesday, when American Morning begins at 3 a.m and continues until noon.
CNN also will introduce new election music from HBO’s award-winning series John Adams to help place the elections in the context of our nation’s history. The score will serve as the network’s theme music on all programs and platforms through the 2012 Presidential Election.
Stay tuned to CNN leading up to election night for sneak peeks at what to expect on Election Night in America. CNN will have election specials, titled Countdown to Election Night in America, on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 31 at 9 p.m.
Extending the reach of CNN’s Best Political Team far beyond television, CNN.com’s Election Center will be the premiere online destination for the midterm elections. Featuring the latest results on CNN.com’s homepage on Election Night, the Election Center will include real-time race results, graphics to show the shifting balance of power in the House and Senate, polls and a plethora of information to satisfy everyone from the political novice to the junkie. Online at www.cnn.com/MyElection, users will be able to follow up to 15 races and/or ballot measures as the results come in; as well as activate a module featuring results for the three races most important to them, which will “follow” users throughout the right rail of the Election Center.
Android, BlackBerry and iPhone or iPod touch users can also follow real-time election results on their mobile phone for House, Senate and gubernatorial races through the CNN Election Center App, available for free from Android Market, BlackBerry App World and the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch.
In the days leading up to November 2, CNN International will also offer extensive coverage of the U.S. midterm election across its signature programs including International Desk, Connect the World, BackStory and Political Mann, the weekly U.S.-focused political show hosted by Jonathan Mann. As the polls begin to close on Election Day, CNN International will simulcast CNN/US coverage to an audience around the world.
CNN en Español will offer rolling coverage of the U.S. midterm election starting at 6 a.m. Anchor Luis Carlos Vélez will offer exit poll results and updates on the balance of power throughout the day from our studios in Atlanta. Then, starting at 4 p.m., senior D.C. correspondent Juan Carlos López will offer reports and will be joined by analysts Roberto Izurieta and Helen Aguirre Ferre, and will later present results with senior anchor Patricia Janiot through 1 a.m.
*All Times Eastern