(Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
As the nation tuned in Wednesday night to watch the first in a series of presidential debates between Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney, many viewers also went online to share their thoughts on what the future might hold if Obama loses.
The phrase "If Obama Loses" appeared as a hashtag on Twitter's Trends list as millions of Americans tuned into CNN, CBS, Fox, NBC and numerous other networks broadcasting the debate live on television and online.
Considering the possibility that Americans elect Romney to the presidency come Nov. 6, some viewers suggested that they would leave the country, while others shared the opinion that a Romney victory would be good news.
"If Obama loses, it will be a great defeat of both liberalism and the biased unscrupulous lying evil media," wrote @DTCallahan77, a Christian commenter who included the hashtag "#RomneyRyan2012."
Twitter user @CandiLissa suggested Americans could "just blame Bush like you always do" if Obama loses in November.
Another user had the opinion things would get drastically out of control if Obama isn't re-elected.
"I honestly feel like there will be riots that will get out of control all over America and screw more things up," shared Ian Miller.
Conservative born-again Christian Patrick Henry is apparently praying Obama gets booted from office, in which case he "will run outside yelling thank you God, Romney wins!!"
Others took the opportunity to use the hashtag to make jokes, writing that if Obama loses...
"... the second part of the 'civil rights movement' is going to begin."
"Who's gonna be the president of black America...?"
"...then 2012 really is the end of the world."
"...You better follow the North Star."
As Obama and Romney headed into their first debate Wednesday night, pundits postulated that this was the former Michigan governor's chance to rattle the president's campaign and draw in voters. Others suggested that, as the odds were slightly in Obama's favor, the president need only to play it safe.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed that most Americans (56 percent) believe Obama will not only win tonight's presidential debate, but be re-elected in just five weeks to the White House, according to 63 percent of survey respondents.
Wednesday night's presidential debate is being hosted by the University of Denver. The 90-minute debate, started at 9 p.m. ET. It is being moderated by PBS NewsHour executive editor Jim Lehrer, who has previously moderated presidential debates 11 times.