Presidential debate to be held at Hofstra University Tuesday - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Presidential debate to be held at Hofstra University Tuesday

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(10/16/12) - President Obama and Mitt Romney will face off in Long Island Tuesday night.

There's also a third person taking part in the presidential debate - the undecided voter.

Eighty of them will surround President Obama and Mitt Romney for a town hall-style debate here at Hofstra University.

Everywhere you go around campus, there's evidence something big is happening.

Banners, signs, even a red, white, and blue bake sale - Hofstra University is ready for debate 2012.

"We figured that it would be a good opportunity to show we're out supporting the debate, and plus, everyone's hungry, everyone's busy, so why not," said Brianne Richards, Hofstra University Senior.

Richards is exactly the type of voter the candidates will be reaching out to during Tuesday's town hall debate.

"I'm undecided," she said.

She's hoping the matchup will help make up her mind, but she wants answers.

"Whoever can help bring the gas prices down," she said while laughing. "$4 a gallon is too much."

It's all up to moderator Candy Crowley. She's the only one who knows all the questions the undecided voters sitting in the audience prepared.

And there are a lot of questions that have not been asked yet.

"Poverty, bringing the troops home from Afghanistan, we haven't talked much about a nuclear Iran, the environment hasn't come up at all, global warming," said Andrea Libresco, Hofstra Education Professor.

For Libresco, it isn't just about Tuesday or even election night. "It's what you do after the election as well, and how you hold candidates' feet to the fire," she said.

Political analysts tell us the candidates have to focus on the voters in this debate instead of attacking each other.

"They both have some big challenges here. President Obama obviously had a performance that wasn't well received on the first debate. So he has to come back. Gov. Romney had a very strong performance, and now needs to maintain that edge that appears to have made a difference in swing state polls," said Meena Bose, presidential studies professor.

Right now, it's not clear who is better suited for the Town Hall format. They both have strengths and certain challenges they'll have to overcome in this setting.

The President has the leg up - he did this 4 years ago.

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