Presidental Debate 2012 Live Stream

DENVER, Colorado - The first 2012 U.S. Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will take place tonight at the University of Denver at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time  /  7 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time  /  6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.   The Presidential Debate is scheduled to last for 90 minutes.

The debate has ended. You can watch a replay of the Presidential Debate video online here.

Viewers can comment below as the debate unfolds about what they think of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama's debate performances, policies, and 'zingers.'

This is domestic policy Presidential Debate is moderated by Jim Leherer, Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour.

The Presidential Debate will air on PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, and C-SPAN on television. Viewers can also watch the first Presidential Debate live online on YouTube, AOL, major network, and some network affiliate websites 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 48.8% to 45.7% according to a Real Clear Politics average of polls.

Although both candidates' campaign teams try to downplay their respective candidate's debate performance expectations, most Americans say Barack Obama (57%) will do a better job than Mitt Romney (33%) in the upcoming presidential debates according to a recent Gallup Poll.
The first U.S. Presidential Debate tonight is seen as the first national opportunity for Romney to break Obama's momentum gained after the Democratic National Convention - so all eyes will be on Mitt Romney during this debate to turn his campaign around and answer the question, "Can Mitt Romney win the 2012 Presidential Election?"


Some of the Colorado topics that may be brought up during this debate are energy production from the Rocky Mountain states, the legalization of marijuana, and Hispanic voter issues such as the Dream Act.
Look for Mitt Romney to sound a lot like Ron Paul and go populist on state's rights and an anti-Federal Reserve policy - but straddle the fence when it comes to immigration so as not to alienate conservative whites while still trying to woo the Hispanic vote.
The Romney campaign has already floated the Federal Reserve and legalization of marijuana issues with a populist slant via his Vice Presidential running mate Paul Ryan on the campaign trail over the past month.


Given Mitt Romney's past statements, Hispanic voters are now as much a matter of image damage control as it is policy damage control.  

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 (Democratic).
Because Mitt Romney would have to straddle the fence on policy, this particular issue is where you might find Romney layout a one-line zinger that would be talked about amongst co-workers the following morning in order to gloss over Romney's inability to win Hispanics on immigration without alienating conservative whites if Romney were to stick to strict policy arguments.


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.

This is where Mitt Romney can speak most comfortably - on economic policy.  It would not be hard for Mitt Romney to layout the exact same arguments and tact that would be easily understood, accepted, and supported - regardless of whether the same presentation was to a Board of Directors or the American People.

Because this issue is where Mitt Romney could comfortably speak about policy - it is perhaps the worst issue to try a one-line zinger.

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.

This position has to remain inline with Romney's position on healthcare - that it should be left to the states, falling back on 10th Amendment supporters who believe that health, education, and welfare are inherently state issues.

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

Regardless of partisan affiliation of the intended audience, Mitt Romney's carefully crafted speeches, policies, commercials, and other vague communications are like Chinese food.  The viewer or reader knows that they just went through the process of consuming and digesting something - but are left feeling hungry and unfulfilled.
Mitt Romney's Hail Mary in the first Presidential Debate would have to be Mitt Romney unplugged - with the assumption that he must ignore the campaign advisers because their continued formula of oblique policy stands is losing the 2012 Presidential Election.
This would mean that Mitt Romney would have to come across to viewers as speaking with his own heart and mind rather than an overly analyzed and filtered message much like a bad pop singer who has to rely on less lyrics and more synthesized Auto-Tune audio processors.  


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