The final sprint of the campaign kicks off Wednesday night in Denver with the first 2012 presidential debate. Despite the hype surrounding the debate, the actual impact on the race may be little.
Historically, the impact of debates is less than is perceived. With the sustained lead which President Obama has opened up since early September's Democratic National Convention, look for this trend to continue. With that in mind, as long as President Obama keeps his head above water during the debates he should be on the path to victory. So look for him to be risk averse and stick to his script that the country is better off than it was 4 years ago, and a vote for Romney is a step backwards. Should Obama stumble in the debates, however, Romney could pick up some much need momentum.
Look for former Governor Romney to attack early on the economy. President Obama's inability to cut unemployment below 8% still remains one of his greatest weaknesses. The key will be how Romney defends his controversial statements about the 47% and whether he can offer specific plans how he would rebuild the economy. And while the debate focuses on domestic policy, with rumors circulating that Romney holds incriminating information regarding President Obama's handling of the 9/11 embassy attack, don't be surprised if Romney attacks the president's foreign policy, as well.
The debate begins at 9 p.m. EDT keep posted here for coverage and live blogging.
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10:13 PM Whenever Romney's arguing for states' rights he's losing the middle.
9:41 PM Obama bringing it back to his family. Obama has done a better job so far reminding us that he's a real person.
9:34 PM Romney with a full-throated embrace of the Laffer curve.
9:32 PM Obama grinning as Mitt insists that he has his own plan to solve the deficit.
9:12 PM Bring on the Biden. Romney: "The middle class has been buried."
9:06 PM Romney Univision tan looking pretty good. Not going to sweat it like Nixon.
8:52 PM Romney boys look as presidential as their father.
8:45 PM In other news, A-Rod with a shot. 7-1 Yankees. Not looking good for the O's.
8:35 PM Romney's keys for success: avoid "47%" and provide specifics on policies. Doesn't need to go big, but give some substance.
8:26 PM Tonight marks the Obama's 20th wedding anniversary. What better way to celebrate 20 years than watching your husband get into a fight on national television.