The story

Huddled around a table for hours, a handful of top journalists at CNN's political unit has been poring over YouTube videos by the thousands.

It's a laborious process, but it's necessary to ensure the best questions make the cut for the CNN/YouTube debate between Republican presidential hopefuls in St. Petersburg, Florida, which will take place Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

"The questions are funny. Some of them are striking. Some of them are sad. They are incredibly meaningful," said Sam Feist, CNN's political director. "You watch hundreds of these questions and you really get a sense of what's on people's minds."

The CNN producers have viewed more than 3,500 video submissions from people around the world. They'll continue sifting through more, through the submission deadline of November 25, right up to the debate. Only about 40 will pass muster. Watch some of the questions sent in so far

It's only the second time such a debate has taken place -- Democratic candidates duked it out in a similar format this past summer. That debate christened YouTube as a venue for prodding politicians and a way to get the public involved. Read full article »

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CNN/YouTube debate
GOP candidates face questions from YouTube.
Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET

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