Second Debate Crucial to Convince Swing Voters

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The presidential candidates are just hours away from their second crucial debate tonight, exactly three weeks from Election Day.

Republican Mitt Romney is looking to keep his edge while President Obama is hoping to rebound from his poor performance in the first debate.

This time, they take on a town hall format, answering questions from undecided voters.

Momentum has shifted to Romney since the first debate, putting pressure on the president to step up with a strong performance tonight.

Stay with CBNNews.com to watch the debate streamed LIVE, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

What to expect from tonight's debate? CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody, who will be in New York tonight, has more, following this report.

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows Romney leading Obama by four percentage points among likely voters in the swing states.

The poll also shows movement among women toward Romney in the nation's top battlegrounds. Both campaigns are fighting very hard in the swing states, especially Ohio.

Audience members at tonight's town hall debate are undecided voters pre-selected by the moderator.

Democrats hope the president can regain his footing after a poor performance in the first debate, for which he was widely criticized.

"I think he's going to be aggressive in making the case for his view of where we should go as a country," David Axelrod, an Obama campaign senior strategist, said.

Romney's debate-prep partner, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, said he is optimistic about Romney's chances. When asked by a reporter how the preparation is going, Portman responded, "Great!"

"It's a totally different experience, obviously, when you have citizens who are asking you questions, rather than professional journalists," said Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

With just three weeks to go, reaching undecided voters is critical. The last two debates are opportunities for both candidates to make their case to that group and to reinforce their message with the American public as a whole.

The debate takes place tonight at Hofstra University in New York beginning at 9 p.m ET.

 

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Mark Martin

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.