President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney prepare to take part in the second of three presidential debates in New York Tuesday night, each knowing that this could turn into one of the most important events in the race for the White House. The second debate begins at 9 p.m. ET and can be watched online on The Christian Post via the video player below.
Since Obama's lackluster performance in the first debate two weeks ago, Romney has experienced a surge across vital swing states.
According to a USA Today/Gallup poll released yesterday Romney's surge has continued right up to the eve of this second debate, with the Republican candidate now recording a five point lead over Obama in the 12 battleground states (Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire). Indeed the poll registered 51 percent of voters to Romney and only 46 percent to Obama.
Most are expecting Obama to come out swinging in this debate to try and make amends for his showing two weeks ago.
The first debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3 focused on domestic policy issues. Tonight's second debate however will feature a different format and will see the presidential rivals tackle questions on domestic and foreign policy from an audience of 80 undecided voters in a town hall style forum in New York.
The questions from undecided voters will be chosen by the Gallup Organization, and will see CNN's Candy Crowley take on the role of moderator.
The Commission on Presidential Debates, the non-partisan body overseeing the rules for the debates, has described the format as follows: "The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization."
Meanwhile Robert Gibbs, a top aide to Obama, has insisted that the president will come out more "energetic" in tonight's debate. Gibbs told MSNBC, "I think you will see somebody who will be strong, who will be passionate, who will be energetic."
Obama has been preparing privately for this debate since Saturday at Williamsburg golf resort in Virginia.
The Romney camp has also been preparing the Republican candidate, and are expecting Obama to come out on full attack.
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams has said, "President Obama is going to have a better night than he had at the first debate," according to BBC News.
He added that they expect Obama will "come out swinging with dishonest and negative attacks."
Various television networks are providing coverage including CBS, C-SPAN, Fox News, Univision, among others.
The debate time is 9 p.m. ET and can be watched online through live stream right here on The Christian Post via the player below.