October 2nd, 2012
02:47 PM ET

WATCH at 7p ET: Can the debates change enough voters’ minds to sway the election? OutFront political strike team weighs in

In less than 24 hours, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will face-off in the first of three presidential debates that may be a game changer for the 2012 presidential election.

As recent polls continue to reveal a close race between the two candidates, both campaigns have their sights on undecided and swing voters.

Debate coach: Obama, Romney are top performers

We asked our OutFront Political Strike team to weigh in on whether the debates can have an impact on undecided voters.

Tune to Erin Burnett OutFront at 7p ET for the results from our political strike team.

Here is tonight's OutFront poll:

The First Presidential Debate @ 7P ET: From the University of Denver in Denver, CO

Candidate 'tells' a cue to presidential debate performance

When Mitt Romney is agitated his arms flail. President Barack Obama has a tendency to drone on and on. Debate experts say both should keep those quirks in check during the upcoming presidential debates.

That's because in the world of political theater, nobody likes a ham or a know-it-all, said Melissa Wade, a debate professor at Emory University.

So Romney should keep that whiteboard full of facts and figures under wraps. And Obama should keep the lecturing to a minimum.

"It's the generation of Twitter and Facebook and efficient language choices are persuasive," Wade said.

Both candidates are considered skilled debaters - Romney's campaign called Obama a "universally acclaimed public speaker," and Romney was lauded for his performance during the Republican presidential primary debates. However, there's a lot more to effective debating than clever rhetoric.


Filed under: 2012 Election • Political Strike Team • Politics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Joey at Purdue Univ

    Both parties should just bet all their chips on the "O'Reilly vs. Stewart Rumble 2012." That's about as close as we of the 21st Century will probably come to seeing Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryan.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.