This first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney could be called "the middle debate." Both candidates will try to connect with middle class voters, from the middle of the country, in the middle of the political spectrum.
Polls show only around five percent of voters are truly undecided. And with President Obama and Mitt Romney close in national polls, that five percent is very important to both campaigns.
"I've lost races by less than five percent, so five percent is a big number," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who is supporting President Obama. This will be the first major exposure they have had to these major candidates, standing toe-to-toe with each other, and they will get to hear the very different perspectives each candidate has for the future of our country.
As President Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for the debate, their running mates are pressing themes that will likely drive some of the discussion on Wednesday night.
Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan accused Obama of planning tax hikes.
"Look, there's only one person who has raised taxes and is promising to raise taxes in the future who's running for president, and his name is Barack Obama," said Ryan.
Meanwhile, Vice President Biden argued Romney would give breaks to the wealthy at the expense of working-class families.
"I know I'm not the only one who has found it strange for Governor Romney to write off 47 percent of the country," Biden said.
President Obama or Mitt Romney could win the debate with specifics (i.e. explaining plans to revive the economy). Both have set high goals and both have accused each other of not fully explaining how they'd reach their goals.
"I'd like them to address the Medicare issue completely," said Tampa voter Pat Streuber. She is concerned about the future of Medicare, and said she began leaning toward President Obama after Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate. (Ryan had proposed changes for future recipients, including optional vouchers).
"That selection pretty much leaned me in the other direction," said Streuber. "This voucher thing has me extremely concerned."
Mitt Romney has repeatedly said his policies would protect and strengthen Medicare, and that reforms are needed to keep it solvent. He has also accused the President of cutting funding for the program. Either candidate could gain ground in Florida by winning the Medicare argument.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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