Republicans Debate in New Hampshire


With just about 18 months until the next presidential election, seven Republican candidates are gathering in New Hampshire tonight to debate each other over whom would the best to take on President Obama in 2012. To keep the debate in perspective and offer context, analysis, insights and real-time fact checking, the Sunlight Foundation will cover it live at

Using our real-time multimedia platform, we'll help separate fact from fiction and provide data showing the influence of campaign contributions and lobbying efforts.

The expected participants include:

  • Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts
  • Michele Bachmann, representative from Minnesota
  • Ron Paul, representative from Texas
  • Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza
  • Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota
  • Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania
  • Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House and representative from Georgia 

So what do we know already about these candidates? Let's look at Mitt Romney. In his 2008 presidential bid, people from the following organizations were, collectively, Romney's top five contributors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP):

  • Goldman Sachs ($234,275)
  • Citigroup ($178,200)
  • Merrill Lynch ($173,025)
  • Morgan Stanley ($170,350)
  • Lehman Brothers ($144,100)

(It's important to understand that, as CRP puts it, "The organizations [above] themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.")

We'll also look at the candidates' PACs. MIchele Bachmann's PAC, Michele PAC, lists as its contributors FOX News, which gave the PAC $10,000. It also shows that at the end of 2010, it had $179,707.

Joining us in the live blog will be Tim Fernholtz of National Journal and Shira Toeplitz from CQ/Roll Call.

The debate is being hosted by WMUR, CNN and the New Hampshire Union Leader. John King of CNN will moderate the debate along with questions from WMUR’s Josh McElveen, Jennifer Vaughn, Jean Mackin and reporters from the Union Leader.

So, tune in at 8 p.m. ET at and follow along with our live video, data cards and real-time blog.