Televised Political Debates and Elections: Are Americans persuaded by televised political debates? Do you think they make a difference in how people vote? Probably the most famous of political debates were the Lincoln-Douglas Debates 1858. Printed in the newspapers and shared across the country, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates are often cited as one of the most influential debates of all times. How do teachers use historical debates to compare with contemporary debates? I would be interested in any lessons or thoughts.