September 30, 2012

Potential voters by a 56-29 percent margin expect President Obama to win the upcoming debates according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll
Only twice have debates appeared to shift the election’s outcome
George Will's questions for the presidential debates
The president suggested he planned to use the televised forum as an opportunity to engage his challenger on issues of substance
Like the conventions, presidential debates have become little more than pageantry
Despite the fanfare that surrounds each election cycle’s televised events, historical data shows the debates are rarely game changers
The cumulative power of tweets could help shape the narrative of what happened at the presidential or vice-presidential debate
Mitt Romney's participation in 23 debates during the Republican primaries served the role of warm-up bouts to the championship fights to occur in October
President Obama tells a crowd in Las Vegas that Governor Romney is a good debater and he's just okay
Hosting the Oct. 11 vice presidential debate at Centre College could cost about $3.3 million

Read more here:
An archive of the most memorable debate moments would be a blooper reel
Spontaneity- this is where Mitt Romney really needs to be careful
The Obama campaign will deploy a group of surrogates to go after Mitt Romney's Bain Capital record in the days surrounding the first presidential debate on Oct. 3
Mitt Romney’s first debate with President Barack Obama Wednesday may be one of the GOP nominee’s final chances to turn around a race that polls show increasingly favors the incumbent
As proof of the debates' importance, both campaigns have worked furiously over the past several days to create the perfect framework for the first debate Wednesday
The best chance for the Republican standard bearer to turn the tide may be Wednesday's first presidential debate
President Obama's and Mitt Romney's aides are doing their best to lower expectations for their bosses' performances at next week's scheduled debate in Denver
The candidates’ willingness to nearly disappear from public view for 48 to 72 hours reflects the high stakes of the three October debates for both men
Philips Electronics has dropped its sponsorship of the 2012 presidential debates, citing a desire not to associate itself with partisan politics
The upcoming Vice-Presidential debate offers a learning experience for Centre College students
The Obama campaign has rejected the idea that the president will be hurling any "zingers" at opponent Mitt Romney
Presidential candidate debates tend to be good for voters
The campaigns are preparing for a make-or-break night on Wednesday
Jim Lehrer needs to ask a question about gun control so America can finally get an answer
The University of Denver is warning people about a scam involving tickets to Wednesday's presidential debate
While Jim Lehrer has not yet signaled any intention of straying from the 6 categories, Mitt Romney and President Obama can, and doubtless will, try to stretch the envelope in any way they feel might create an opportunity
For the 12th time in the history of the televised presidential debates, Jim Lehrer has been asked to serve as moderator, making him by far the most experienced such moderator in modern history
The debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney marks the first time the two candidates will be able to challenge each other directly on the economic issues that have been the focus of the presidential campaign
The debates are the final major landmark on the campaign calendar before Election Day
The first debate will set the stage for the final weeks of the race
One crucial audience for the candidates during the presidential debates will be Hispanic voters
Paul Ryan will spend three days inVirginia next week preparing for his upcoming debate against Vice President Biden

President Obama departed for Nevada, where he will bunker down with aides in a "debate camp"
The debates' unpredictable nature is part of what attracts tens of millions of television viewers
Joe Biden will be the Obama campaign’s leading spin master after Wednesday night’s first presidential debate
Centre College expects a deluge of more than 50,000 visitors from across the globe as Vice President Joe Biden and Paul Ryan square off October 11th
Mitt Romney has been saving his best shots for Wednesday's debate with President Obama
Both President Obama and Mitt Romney took a break from the campaign trail Saturday, instead preparing for the crucial first presidential debate
If you’re still on the fence, tune out the campaign spin and tune into the debates
Paul Ryan is not counting on Vice President Biden making a gaffe during their debate
Paul Ryan is training his sights on Joe Biden
Five questions the American people deserve clear answers to questions during the first presidential debate
National Journal's Top Eight Debate Zingers
Paul Ryan sought to lower expectations for the first presidential debate, saying he doesn’t believe a single event will dramatically alter the shape of the campaign
John McCain says not to expect any surprises in this week's first presidential debate because the televised confrontations nowadays are so heavily scripted
Wednesday’s debate in Denver will have major implications for how the remaining five weeks of the campaign play out
John Kerry will join the president in Nevada this week for debate preparations
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says Wednesday’s debate will create a “barn burner” in the days leading up to the election
The fierce and determined competitors in the tight race have a specific mission for the three debates, the first of which is Wednesday night in Denver
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will take the debate stage with very different political imperatives and objectives

Paul Ryan says Vice President Joe Biden is someone you're not going to rattle

September 29, 2012

With more than 50 million people watching and the presidency at stake, the candidates will meet for their first debate on Wednesday at the University of Denver, and both are cramming like college students before an exam

September 28, 2012

Mitt Romney is counting on folks paying attention to the conversation he has with President Obama during the debates
Gwen Ifill debunks five myths about presidential debates in the Washington Post
Newt Gingrich says Mitt Romney needs to "disarm" President Obama in order to come out ahead in the first presidential debate
First lady Michelle Obama will campaign in Reno on Wednesday, the same day as the first presidential debate
Mitt Romney needs to reverse his standing and the debates may be his last chance
Recent presidential debates suggest the first debate could be President Obama's toughest
On October 3, two brainy Harvard graduates will do as each man has done dozens of times before—though never against each other, and never with the stakes so high
The temptation for Mitt Romney to swing for the fences at the first debate likely will be strong
Presidential debates are the second-most watched events in America, only surpassed by the Super Bowl, which comes in at around 111 million viewers
A red tie has been the go-to choice during debates for most presidential candidates by a large margin
The vast amount of time and talent devoted to the debates might be better used to craft ways of talking more effectively and specifically about the economy
Mitt Romney has the most at stake in the debates this year
The selection of Lynn University to host a presidential debate gave the university "unparalleled opportunity to promote civic awareness and engagement"
The upcoming Vice-Presidential debate in Kentucky has already has been a plus for local businesses
Mitt Romney needs a big and impressive win in the debates to claw back into the race
The Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate at Centre College doesn’t feature a rematch, but the prize-fight themed vice-presidential debate poster the college will unveil today represents a sequel of sorts

September 27, 2012

Just about every social media outlet is planning to play newfangled supporting roles in the debates
The hosting of a presidential debate was a coup for the University of Denver won the bid to host a presidential debate
If Mitt Romney is hoping that the debates turn the tide in what is an ever-widening polling gap between him and President Obama, he might want to think again
As the first presidential debate gets closer, both Mitt Romney and President Obama have been making sure that people don’t get their hopes up too high for their performances
The unpredictable nature of the debates is part of what attracts tens of millions of live-TV viewers
Mitt Romney says that he will use the three presidential debates in October to set the record straight on what he called "extraordinarily inaccurate attack ads" against him
Mitt Romney must win the debates at hand and a debate seemingly raging within himself that's picked up by voters
Team Obama is trying to keep their debate expectations in check
Debates can be important historically
Al Gore is returning to Current TV for the upcoming presidential debate
Paul Ryan says Mitt Romney will pack a punch and take it to President Obama during the debates
Presidential debates tend to be fluffy bits of political theater, full of sound and fury but promising little in terms of new policies or talking points
President Obama has been forced to cancel several debate practice sessions with Senator John Kerry,  leaving little time for them to spar ahead of next week’s first presidential debate
Few debates have a clear winner based on policy positions
The clock is ticking as Centre College and the town of Danville race to finish the preparations for the Vice Presidential Debate just 14 days away
Mitt Romney’s campaign is trying to raise expectations for President Obama heading into the first of three presidential debates next week
The debate season will be Mitt Romney's last chance to overtake President Obama
Paul Ryan said he's "absolutely" looking forward to debating Vice President Biden
Jim Lehrer notes that he's human and is well aware of the "horrors that could befall" him as moderator of a nationally televised debate
Former ABC anchor Carole Simpson is disturbed that male moderators are still given the important debate assignments
Given the short amount of time before the first debate on Wednesday, it’s unlikely that Gary Johnson’s lawsuit will result in his inclusion
In an election dominated by domestic issues, the debate season will give many voters their first real glimpse of the key foreign policy differences between the team of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and the ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden
Karl Rove says while Mitt Romney must point out the president's misrepresentations, he can't take on the role of fact-checker-in-chief during the debates
Mitt Romney plans to turn himself into a one-man truth squad during the first presidential debate next week
The kickoff presidential debate Wednesday in Denver is shaping up as do-or-die time for Mitt Romney

September 26, 2012

Newt Gingrich's advice on how Mitt Romney should debate President Obama
John Kerry has been trying to think like Mitt Romney as he stands in for the Republican nominee in presidential debate with President Obama
A successful debate could be one of Mitt Romney's last opportunities to turn the momentum his way
Perhaps fact checkers at the presidential debates would create an environment where pretty lies can't shout away the truth - even when the truth is unpleasant
By any reasonable standard, presidential debates are won on form and rarely on substance

Read more here:
The abortion issue typically comes up in at least one presidential debate, and no doubt it will this time as well
The upcoming presidential campaign debates would better serve the citizenry if they were not presented on television
There seems to be near-universal consensus that the presidential debates represent Mitt Romney's last, best shot at turning around the race
Voters are really hoping that the debates will give them an unvarnished and unscripted look at the two candidates
Mitt Romney lowered debate expectations a hair, noting it is his first time in a presidential debate and his opponent is an eloquent, gifted speaker
President Obama and Mitt Romney need to be asked a question about our nation's gun policy at the first presidential debate in Denver
POLITICO’s list of the 10 questions they'd love to see Jim Lehrer put to President Obama and Mitt Romney on October 3rd
Interstate 25 will be closed before, during and immediately after the Oct. 3 presidential debate at the University of Denver
Voters were treated yesterday to the first virtual foreign policy debate of the 2012 presidential campaign
Aides worry President Obama may not get enough practice at the debate podium

September 25, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden held his first mock debate session with Rep. Chris Van Hollen last week
Top fact checkers from Politifact,,  Washington Post’s  Fact Checker blog and The Associated Press are putting their heads together to root out the less-than-factual lines President Obama and Mitt Romney are likely to spin
The race will soon be over for much of the country—just as the debates begin to air

September 24, 2012

Unlike the primary debates, Mitt Romney won't have the luxury of sitting back and watching his opponents fire at each other
Surrogates are playing a game of lowering expectations over which candidate holds the advantage going into the presidential debates
Presidential debates are high-stakes affairs, especially in a skin-tight race
Mitt Romney says President Obama will no longer be able to "fool people" about his stance on issues such as the auto bailout and taxes during the presidential debates
If Mitt Romney fails to come away with a win or at the first presidential debate, he could find his candidacy abandoned by GOP moneymen and chieftains
Candidates could deliver the best debate performances of their careers and it would be too late to sway the votes of a growing slice of the electorate
Mitt Romney's campaign is going overboard to prepare him for the presidential debates because top advisors believe they will provide a "breakpoint" in the election just as it did for Ronald Reagan in 1980
The four presidential and vice presidential debates next month might well determine who wins the election
The first televised debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney will likely revolve around the top priorities of an overwhelming majority of voters: the economy and jobs
President Obama and Mitt Romney are nearing the unsparing crucible of one-on-one debates that could alter the dynamics of the presidential campaign

Results showed that post presidential debate coverage that focused on the debate as a competition led viewers to think less about policy issues
The presidential debates may be Mitt Romney's best life preserver as his ship tries to navigate through its roughest waters to date

September 23, 2012

Senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs says Mitt Romney has a leg up on President Barack Obama in the upcoming presidential debates
Conventional wisdom holds that Mitt Romney must do well while President Obama simply needs to hold serve in the presidential debates
The Los Angeles Times put together lists of issues each candidate would like to discuss at the upcoming presidential debates
Mitt Romney is clearly pointing toward the debate showdowns with Obama as a chance to show Americans he is a better bet to turn things around
While both sides are downplaying expectations, Mitt Romney's campaign sees the debates as a huge opportunity to get his campaign and its message back on track after a troublesome week
With a little help from those broadcasting the debates, voters just might get answers to difficult questions from the candidates
The University of Denver campus will find itself in the presidential spotlight in a much more important fashion, hosting the first of three presidential debates in the 2012 election season
Third Way, a Democratic think tank, offers 21 pieces of advice for candidates at all levels who want to prepare for political debates
Mitt Romney is looking to the first presidential debate as a way of hauling his campaign back into contention
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham predicts Mitt Romney will break the campaign open in the upcoming debates with President Obama
The Commission on Presidential Debates has begun to build the stage from which Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will answer questions from moderator Martha Raddatz

Read more here:
The nation's political spotlight will be on Kentucky on Oct. 11, when Centre College in Danville  hosts the only vice presidential debate

Read more here:

September 21, 2012

Presidential debates have become high television drama, and this year's series should be no exception
When it comes to the presidential debates, there is no stopping the plaudits
From now until October 3rd, you'll hear nothing but praise from the campaigns for their opponent's rhetorical prowess
Conventional wisdom says presidential debates change the minds of voters, but like the election itself, there are two sides
It's still uncertain how many tickets there will be for the Oct. 11 debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, and how Centre College and the Commission on Presidential Debates will distribute them

Read more here:
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson filed an anti-trust lawsuit in federal court Friday to try to force his way into next month's presidential debates
Bill Clinton says Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment will put a heavier burden on him in the presidential debates
Some say the release of presidential debate topics sets a bad precedent
Since the Kennedy-Nixon election, TV debates have been very influential
The Obamas' 20th wedding anniversary happens to coincide with the first 2012 Presidential debate
The Obama campaign released a memo Thursday meant to raise expectations for Mitt Romney in the upcoming presidential debates

September 20, 2012

Team Obama needs to maintain the status quo, while Mitt Romney needs to change the dynamics of the race during the upcoming presidential debates
Centre College's hosting preparations for the October vice-presidential debate have been challenging
With a little more than a month before Lynn University hosts the final U.S. presidential debate, campus preparations are gearing up and community stakeholders are readying their game

September 19, 2012

Given the distractions and gaffes that have plagued his candidacy of late, Mitt Romney surely is pleased that the campaign will be getting back to what he likes to talk about during the first presidential debate
The first presidential debate has greater potential to benefit the challenger
Boca Raton, FL is about to launch a media blitz surrounding its upcoming presidential debate
The list of topics for the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado on October 3rd
Fred Kahn's idea led to the first presidential debate
Since Mitt Romney can salvage his campaign only by a stunning victory in these debates, he is going to have to attack Obama relentlessly
With the election quickly drawing toward a close, the pressure is mounting on Mitt Romney to finally make his move  –  beginning, most importantly, at the Oct. 3 presidential debate in Colorado
Lynn University is trying to make the most of its brief time in the national spotlight
Ralph Nader is demanding a presidential debate in Washington that focuses on the District
The so-called debate effect is not considered the sole determining factor in the elections because there are too many other ingredients that go into the campaign stew

September 18, 2012

President Obama is trying to rein in one of his signature characteristics ahead of the first presidential debate on Oct. 3: his loquaciousness
The sponsoring nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates thankfully has moved so far away from many traditional elements of debating that the new format feels more like a joint press conference

Read more here:
The three presidential debates as the last chance to make the case to voters for the two men vying for the White House
The upcoming presidential debates will no doubt showcase politically expedient behavior, which means that viewers will be compelled to isolate a few rivulets of truth from a flood of fiction
President Obama has had less debate practice time than Mitt Romney has enjoyed so far, aides say
October's presidential debates are suddenly looming in importance

Read more here:
With the first presidential debate less than three weeks away, Mitt Romney is shaking up his practice routine by sparring several times a week with a stand-in for President Obama
This year's debates take on even greater importance, providing the candidates with their last remaining opportunity to change the trajectory of the election with a dominating overall performance or even a single piercing rejoinder
There are five economic issues particularly relevant to Florida that President Barack Obama Mitt Romney should address if they want to successfully woo this crucial swing state
In 35 days Lynn University will be showcased on an international stage
Debates have been critical in deciding presidential elections
The debates may have historically less significance this year than in past presidential cycles because of early voting
The first face-to-face debate is “the best and maybe last chance” for Mitt Romney to turn the campaign decisively in his direction
The first US presidential debate may be two weeks away, but the mind games have already started
Central Kentucky city is hoping to put on a good show when the national political spotlight turns to the vice presidential debate at Centre College on Oct. 11

September 17, 2012

The race remains close and the debates are coming soon- it’s still anyone’s game
It's hard to know what information from a debate could sway an undecided voter or, even more, persuade someone to switch his or her vote
The Obama campaign tried to raise expectations for Mitt Romney's performance in this fall's presidential debates, labeling them "make or break" for the Republican nominee
Ann Romney is looking forward to the presidential debates, but thinks Mitt is the underdog
A 2012 Debate Prep Checklist from Alan Schroeder of Northeastern University
Because Jim Lehrer both completely appreciates and accepts that presidential debates are about the presidential nominees and not about the moderator or the panelists, nobody is better at doing what he does
With mere weeks to go before the Vice-Presidential debate, Centre College actually has all the help it needs
Expect the three televised Presidential debates to draw millions of eyes
A good debating partner will help the real candidates hone their messages and avoid nasty surprises
The Romney campaign sees the debates as a big opportunity for his message to be heard by large numbers of voters

September 16, 2012

If polls stay the same until the debates begin, Mitt Romney will need to strike a rhetorical blow strong enough to reverse Obama's momentum
President Obama's advisers have actually been trying to lower expectations for the debates, saying they expect Mitt Romney will do well, and may even get a bounce

September 15, 2012

Robert Watson from Lynn University expects at least one surprise question in each debate
In the past 50 years, debates have not flipped the outcome of a single presidential election
Mitt Romney says his campaign will “come into focus” with the debates and that he’s preparing for President Barack Obama to “say things that aren’t true” during the three upcoming face-offs next month
Former solicitor general Ted Olson will play Joe Biden in Paul Ryan's debate prep

September 13, 2012

Joe Klein of Time Magazine thinks Mitt Romney won't do so well in the presidential debates

Representative Chris Van Hollen says he’s got his lines down pat – but that his Paul Ryan body language is still a work in progress
AARP will be the prime sponsor of a free festival at the October 11th vice presidential debate at Centre College

Read more here:
Representative Chris Van Hollen says the practice debate sessions with Vice President Joe Biden haven't started yet, though he has met with Biden once
Two-thirds of those who voted in the 2008 election said the debates between Barack Obama and John McCain were very or somewhat helpful in deciding which candidate to vote for

September 12, 2012

President Obama will look for every opportunity in the debates to promote that message that he will fight hardest for the middle class
The Romney camp is making a terrible mistake by telling people they are pretty sure that their candidate is going to do a good job in the Presidential debates
On National Public Radio, Jorge Ramos says it's time for the Commission on Presidential Debates to move into the 21st century
The first debate held on Wednesday, October 3rd at the University of Denver will be far and away the most important debate
In the "Wide Wide World of Presidential Sports" there is nothing like the presidential debates
Carole Simpson's advice from the last female presidential debate moderator

September 11, 2012

Universities angling to host presidential debates should be sure they are ready for the necessary work
Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post lists some questions she would like to ask President Obama and Mitt Romney during the upcoming debates
Nearly six in 10 likely voters think President Barack Obama will win the upcoming debates against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney

"Five Questions with Professor Alan Schroeder"

Alan Schroeder a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, where he teaches  primarily in the area of visual journalism. Schroeder is the author of several books: Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV (Columbia University Press, 2008) as well as a previous edition, Presidential Debates: 40 Years of High-Risk TV (Columbia University Press, 2000); Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House (Westview Press, 2004); and a textbook, Writing and Producing Television News: From Newsroom to Air (Oxford University Press, 2008). 

1.  Two of the debates are being held in swing states this year (Colorado and Florida), while two debates are taking place in New York and Kentucky.  In future years, do you think Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates should be held exclusively in the dozen-ish swing states?

"Ideally presidential debates should be distributed around the country, but I think it's realistic to expect that the candidates and their campaigns would prefer for political reasons to hold the events in swing states.  I am of the opinion that debates are the one part of the campaign process that belongs to voters -- not to the candidates and not to the press -- and for that reason I would prefer to see them staged in all parts of the country.  It's a national election, and presidential debates are very much national events."

2.  Do you think a third-party candidate like Gary Johnson should be allowed to participate in the Presidential Debates?  How would his participation likely impact the debates?

"I think the threshold that has been set for third party/independent candidate participation -- fifteen per cent standing in the national opinion polls -- is not unrealistic.  Ross Perot met this criterion in 1992, and we saw that it enlivened that year's debates.  It is difficult to say how participation by Gary Johnson would mix things up in 2012, and ultimately any such discussion would be idle speculation.  In the final analysis only Obama and Romney will take part."

3.  Has the Commission on Presidential Debates been good or bad for the quality and style of recent Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates?

"The debate commission comes in for a great deal of criticism on many fronts, but on the whole I think they have been a capable steward of the institution.  My sense is that they are honorable people who care deeply about debates and who strive with each election cycle to make them better.  I realize that not everybody agrees with me on this, but the commission's track record has been solid, and they've been at it now since 1988."

4.  Were you surprised that Jim Lehrer from PBS agreed to moderate another Presidential Debate this year after famously saying the 2008 debate would be his last?

"Yes, I was surprised to hear Jim Lehrer's name when the announcement of moderators was made. Obviously, however, he knows what he's doing.  Beyond serving more times than anyone else as moderator, Lehrer has also been an ardent student of presidential debates.  His production company has created an invaluable video archives consisting of interviews with most of the recent presidential and vice presidential debaters.  Future scholars of debates will be tapping into these interviews for decades to come."

5.  President Obama’s last Presidential Debate occurred on October 15, 2008.  Do you think he will be rusty in the first debate on October 3rd?

"Opening debates can be a tough challenge for incumbent presidents.  This was the case for Ronald Reagan in 1984, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and George W. Bush in 2004, so I would not be surprised if President Obama finds himself rusty when the time comes to step onto that stage. Mitt Romney, by contrast, went through twenty-plus debates and forums during the Republican primary season, which leaves him much better prepped."