Local Debate Watchers

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Many local residents were glued to their televisions Thursday night to hear from George W. Bush and John Kerry.

The Panama City FSU campus put on a debate watch. The Commission on Presidential Debates hosts these events all over the country to find out what people get from the debates without any media analysis.

More than 100 students gathered at the Florida State University Auditorium in Panama City to hear what the candidates had to say.

While President Bush has already made a campaign swing through our area for many it's the first time to hear Senator Kerry outside of news sound bites, but despite some heated debate most of those at the debate watchers say their positions were unchanged. One thing the debate did make clear for many who watched Thursday, the vast difference in the candidates’ ideologies.

The group at FSU PC is one of hundreds around the country and the only one in the panhandle. They watched no pre-debate coverage but discussed expectations. Then afterward they talked about what they thought about the debate.