Unlike 2008, when most voting eyes were trained on the groundbreaking presidential contest, this year’s midterm races “are a big, unwieldy beast of an election,” notes Vaughn Ververs, Msnbc.com’s political director. “It’s not like everyone is focused on one national election. There are 435 House races, 70 or more of which are classified as competitive; at least a dozen Senate seats that are competitive; and many important races for governor.”
This multifaceted story is perfect for online coverage, which allows users to delve into a wide array of stories and data. But as the election approaches, a big focal point for the team at Msnbc.com has been the creation of new digital tools to help users sort through the bewildering array of election stories.
One important initiative is the launch of the Voter Confidence Index (VCI), which will aggregate an array of polls and other data to track how voters feel about President Obama and his party. “It really measures the American public’s confi dence in their government,” Ververs notes.
Msnbc.com’s push to make the election more understandable will also rely heavily on its recent redesign, which simplifi ed the flow of information by putting all the aspects of a single story—text, graphics, video and data—onto a single page. Explains Paige West, the Website’s director of creative development: “It gives users the whole story on a single page” and makes it “much easier to comment and share the stories via Twitter and Facebook.”
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