New polling shows former Gov. Mitt Romney's numbers rising in key battleground states in the wake of his strong debate performance last week in Denver. An election that was beginning to look like an easy victory for President Obama is now an open contest. This week, the focus shifts to the running mates, who will debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. The vice presidential debate is unlikely to have as much of an impact on the election as last week's contest. Nonetheless,the Romney campaign needs Congressman Ryan to keep their momentum going, while the Obama campaign is hoping Vice President Biden will be able to slow them down by forcing Ryan to defend his controversial Medicare plan in front of a national audience. If nothing else the debate promises an entertaining contrast in personality: Biden the liberal bulldog versus Ryan the preening budget hawk. Let's not be surprised if this week's zingers surpass Romney’s now-infamous "fire Big Bird" line.
The debate will run from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Martha Raddatz of ABC News will moderate.
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UPDATE: 8:15 PM Tonight's VP debate starts in 45 min. Check back in for more updates.
UPDATE: 8:31 PM
I think Erick Erickson might be right, at least about the second part. I doubt this debate is going to change anything. Any other predictions out there?
UPDATE: 8:41 PM Paul Ryan's debate tonight hasn't stopped Romney from continuing on the offensive on Libya:
UPDATE: 8:48 PM Something to keep in mind going into this debate (from FiveThirtyEight):
Obama: blue. Romney: red.
Romney has experienced a serious bounce (21 percent!) since the first debate in Denver, but is still only about half as likely to win as Obama.
UPDATE: 8:55 PM Live Video of the Debate
UPDATE: 9:03 PM Debate's starting, Joe Biden will speak first. Martha Raddatz starts off with a question on Libya.
UPDATE: 9:04 Biden admits that the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack was a mistake, but immediately shifts focus to Obama's accomplishments: drawdown in Iraq, killing Osama bin Laden, etc.