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AARP and Iowa Public TV Host Divided We Fail Presidential Candidate Forums

For Immediate Release

Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,

AARP and Iowa Public Television (IPTV) will host two Divided We Fail Presidential Candidate Forums focused on the issues of health care and financial security, with the Democratic forum set to be carried on 265 public television stations nationwide, including 19 of the 20 largest markets. Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, will moderate the 90-minute discussions.

At the September 20 event in Davenport, Democratic candidates committed to participating and meeting forum criteria include: U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, former U.S. Senator John Edwards, U.S. Senator Joe Biden and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. All of the Republican presidential candidates have been invited to participate in the October 25 forum in Sioux City. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senator John McCain have confirmed they will participate.

"With the focus of this prime-time, national PBS broadcast on health care and financial security, we are proud to be able to offer American voters, especially our AARP members and their families in Iowa and across the country, the opportunity to hear the candidates engage in a robust discussion on the issues that matter most to them," said AARP Group Executive Officer Nancy LeaMond.

A recent issue of AARP Bulletin asked readers to submit questions on health care and lifetime financial security that they would like the candidates to address during the Iowa forums. Woodruff will be able to choose from over 1,000 questions that have been submitted to ask the candidates.

In each of the forums, all of the candidates will be on stage at the same time, with opportunities to respond in an allotted time to Woodruff's questions. The forums will be broadcast statewide on IPTV live from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. (ET), and will be aired on public television stations across the country. Viewers should check local listings for broadcast times.

Last month, a survey of 5,000 AARP members in the five early caucus and primary states found that two-thirds of those polled (65 to 77 percent among potential Democratic participants and 78 to 84 percent of Republican participants) are likely to change their candidate preference once they learn more about the candidates' positions on health and financial security. Over the next quarter, AARP will conduct simultaneous polls leading up to the first primary, with the next poll expected in October.

"Iowa Public Television has a long tradition of quality public affairs programming, and our coverage of these forums is no exception," said Daniel K. Miller, executive director and general manager of Iowa Public Television. "We look forward to welcoming moderator Judy Woodruff, as well as the candidates and hundreds of Iowans to these live forums, and we're pleased these important discussions will be broadcast on most public television stations nationwide."

Both the Democratic and Republican forums will be free and open to the public; tickets will be required for attendance.

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