First Presidential Debate October 3, 2012

DENVER, Colorado - The Commission on Presidential Debates selected the University of Denver as the host site for the first 2012 U.S. presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  

This domestic policy debate will be held on October 3, 2012 and is moderated by Jim Leherer, Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour.  

The debate will air from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Colorado, with 9 electoral votes, is one of the crucial swing states in the 2012 Presidential Election where Obama currently leads Romney 47.5% to 45.8% according to Real Clear Politics average of polls.  The debate is seen as the first national opportunity for Romney to break Obama's momentum gained after the Democratic National Convention. 

Some of the Colorado topics that may be brought up during this debate are Hispanic voter issues such as the Dream Act, energy production from the Rocky Mountain states, and the legalization of marijuana.


Hispanic voters will play a larger role than ever in the outcome of the 2012 election. Colorado has seen its Hispanic population grow to 20 percent. The growth of voters who identify themselves as Hispanic has coincided with political changes. 

The Rocky Mountain West, once solidly Republican, is now seen as purple, perhaps even trending blue.


With the national focus on energy and the economy, Colorado is home to massive newly-discovered natural gas resources, including some that fringe highly populated areas. The state also is home to a booming solar and wind energy industry. 

Nearby Wyoming is home to huge coal and oil reserves, and western South Dakota is seeing a boom in oil extraction.


Colorado voters will decide in this election if marijuana should be legalized by state law. The state Democratic Party already has endorsed the measure. While the vote reflects a national shift in attitudes to the drug, federal officials maintain that the federal government holds the ultimate authority. 

Colorado is already home to hundreds of medical marijuana stores openly selling the drug.  

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