AP Style

AP style terms for presidential debate coverage

September 26, 2016, marks the first of a several debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, during which both candidates will make an effort to prove why they are the superior choice for the country’s next president.

Media coverage of the election season has certainly not been light, and will only increase leading up to Nov. 8. We looked to the AP Stylebook for terms and rules that are important to keep in mind in your debate coverage.

Debate Dos

lowercase “president” or “presidential” unless used as part of a proper name: “President Obama,” but “She would be the first female president”

Avoid using terms like “leftist” and “ultra-rightist” in favor of accurate descriptions of political leanings

Capitalize “Election Day”

  • But not “election night”

Debate Don’ts

Say two people met “face to face”

Forget to capitalize the terms “Republican,” “Republican Party,” “Democrat,” and “Democratic Party”

  • Or that you can use the term “GOP” upon second reference when talking about the Republican Party

Capitalize terms like “liberal” or “conservative” when talking about the political philosophies

Hyphenate “vice presidential,” even when used as an adjective

 

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