NBC and Facebook to Tag-Team New Hampshire Primary Debate

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NBC announced today that Meet the Press will team up with Facebook to host the final GOP primary debate before the New Hampshire primaries.

The event will take place at 9 a.m. ET in the Chubb Theatre at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH, and air live on MSNBC and New England Cable News (NECN). It will also be streamed live on Facebook and msnbc.com. The NH primary date has not been set, but the debate will be held the Sunday before the primary takes place, probably in late January or early February.

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NBC is inviting viewers to submit questions on Facebook. NBC hopes including Facebook in the debate will also allow viewers to comment on the debate as it happens and ask for follow up from the candidates.

“This campaign cycle,” said NBC’s David Gregory in his video announcement, “the rules have changed, and while it’s been said that all politics are local, today it might be more accurate to say all politics are social.”

The GOP is no stranger to the social networking behemoth. Most Republican presidential hopefuls currently have a Facebook page.

“The robust activity on Facebook around recent elections demonstrates Facebook’s increasing role in the democratic process,” Joel Kaplan, Vice President of U.S. Public Policy at Facebook said.

(MORE: TIME Person of the Year 2010: Mark Zuckerberg)

This is not the first time social networking is being used to field questions to politicians. CNN and YouTube worked together to host a GOP primary during the last election cycle, and the White House recently hosted a Twitter town hall, or “tweetup” with President Obama. Governors Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty have also held live town halls using social media.

Zachary Cohen is a contributor for TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Zachary_Cohen. You can also continue the discussion on TIME‘s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

Related: NBC News, Facebook Team Up for New Hampshire Debate (National Journal)

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