Barack Obama, Ron Paul Expected To Join MTV/MySpace’s ‘Closing Arguments’

Senator, congressman likely to announce participation Thursday; Clinton, Huckabee already confirmed for Saturday event.

Three days before Super Tuesday, when 23 states hold their presidential-nomination primaries or caucuses, MTV and MySpace will host some of the remaining Democratic and Republican candidates in a “Super” edition of the ongoing MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue series.

At 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, “Closing Arguments: A Presidential Super Dialogue” will be broadcast live from the MTV studios in New York. Senator Hillary Clinton, one of the two Democratic front-runners, and former Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican candidate, have already been confirmed for the forum, the latest in a collaborative series between MTV and MySpace that has so far hosted events with Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, as well as former Senator John Edwards.

Obama and Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican candidate, are expected to announce their participation in the event on Thursday.

The “Super” dialogue will take place just days before the biggest one-day slate of caucuses and primaries in U.S. history. All candidates polling at 10 percent or more nationally were extended an invitation to address the nation another time and reach the pivotal youth voting bloc, which has been turning out in record numbers so far this year and is expected to also do so for November’s general election.

Young voters tripled their 2004 turnout in the Iowa caucuses and the Democratic and Republican primaries, and doubled it in the New Hampshire primaries. In Tuesday’s Florida primaries, turnout for voters under 30 tripled compared with previous presidential primary elections in the state. That leaves little doubt that young voters’ support will translate to hundreds of delegates on Super Tuesday.

The “Super Dialogue” will give each participating candidate an opportunity to engage with the audience and to address questions posed by online viewers via MySpaceIM and ChooseOrLose.com as well as from the live, college-age audience in MTV’s Times Square studio. Candidates can either participate in the studio or via satellite from the campaign trail. MTV News correspondents Sway Calloway and Gideon Yago, and WashingtonPost.com political reporter Chris Cillizza, will moderate.

The event will air on MTV (as well as MTV2 and MTV Tr3s, with highlights on mtvU), stream online at ChooseOrLose.com and MySpace.com, stream on mobile devices via MTV Mobile, broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio, MTV and AP radio, and be distributed live and on-demand through the Associated Press Online Video Network, which has more than 1,800 media sites, including nearly 600 media outlets in Super Tuesday states. Invitations to this latest Presidential Dialogue have also been extended to McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The forum, one of the most interactive events of its kind ever, will also be translated into Spanish and broadcast on ImpreMedia’s LaVibra and shown on MTV’s massive high-definition screen in Times Square. It will once again make use of a polling tool powered by Flektor that enables online viewers to indicate their approval or disapproval of candidates’ responses throughout the course of the event, guiding the direction of the forum by giving the candidates real-time feedback. A popular-vote function will allow viewers to compare their opinions against those of the entire viewing community.

Video highlights from the three previous MySpace/MTV Presidential Dialogues have been streamed more than 1 million times, and approximately 4 million people have tuned in to watch the dialogues on MTV or MySpace. Video clips from each event are archived and available on ChooseOrLose.com and MySpace.

The Presidential Dialogue series is a key component of MTV’s Choose or Lose and the MySpace Impact Channel.

[This story was originally published on 1.28.08 at 3:01 p.m. ET]