The U.S. presidential election is less than a month away. With opinion polls showing a tightening race between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, pollsters, the media, and the average Joe want to know what voters are thinking heading into the home stretch.

The Daily Debate Dial launches tonight, Oct. 11, to track what viewers think about the vice presidential debate in real time. The interactive tool will also be used during the final two presidential debates on Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.

The tool, which is available exclusively on The Daily iPad app, is free for anyone to use during each debate and works as follows:

As you watch the debate, move your finger on the dial when you agree or disagree with a statement being made by one of the two candidates. Then tap the confirm button. The graph at the bottom shows how others are reacting at the same time.

Once the debate is over, The Daily will collect and analyze the data, and then offer an overall assessment on what respondents liked, and didn’t like during the 90 minute event.

Countdown to vice presidential debate

Countdown to vice presidential debate

The vice presidential debate begins on the major networks and news channels at 9 p.m. EDT. It will feature the incumbent, Vice President Joe Biden versus Rep. Paul Ryan.

After the debate, I’ll update this post to let you know my thoughts on The Daily Debate Dial. In the meantime, you too can get involved by downloading The Daily for iPad app and then follow the directions that will be posted right before the start of the debate.

All right everyone, the time has come to discuss. Does The Debate Dial sounds like democracy in action or little more than a gimmick?

Updated (after the debate):

Since The Daily won’t publish results of their Debate Dial until tomorrow, Oct. 12, we really don’t know just how successful it was in terms of the data it collected.  However, it did get quite a lot of users to sign on. At one point, there were nearly 420,000 active users which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. If you used the tool, let us know what you thought.