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All eyes on the Obama-Romney debate

Jason Oliva

Obamney 2012 Election

The first presidential debate could make or break Romney’s campaing trail

The presidential debate between incumbent president Barrack Obama and candidate Mitt Romney is set to kick off Wednesday at the University of Denver. The Obama-Romney debate will be the first time the two politicians square off on issues vital to the presidency. Though debates as these prove helpful for voters watching at home to gain a better understanding of their respected candidates, the Obama-Romney debate will more likely reinforce voter opinions rather than sway them.

The debate Wednesday night will be a tug of war between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney as both will try to reinforce voter opinions of why they like them as candidates.

“Obama needs to play defense without looking defensive,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California and former advisor to U.S. Senator John McCain during his 2000 presidential run.

Obama needs to remind people why they like him, without placing blame on the U.S. Congress for broken campaign vows.

For Romney, this first debate is his best chance to try to turn his muddled campaign around after failing to gain traction from the GOP convention. Marked by campaign blunders and contradictory messages, Romney’s campaign is in dire need of a jumpstart. The Republican candidate faces a narrow road to the presidency as key swing states Florida and Ohio could decide the election come November.

Romney’s economic message could be his major setback in the race, as those in the middle class simply do not see a commonality between themselves and the former head of Bain Capital. Recent polls have shown that Romney has lost his edge on voters who trust to handle the economy. Right now, voters’ perception of Romney is at a low, but Wednesday night could help the Republican candidate persuade those who are still on the fence.

Obama’s advisers, however, have been downplaying the Obama-Romney debate, citing the president’s busy schedule has left no time for debate practice.

With estimates of over 50 million viewers watching the Obama-Romney debate Wednesday night, there is no question that this first footfall is pivotal on the road to the presidency.

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