Before the presidental debate, what expectations do you have on the candidates?
Anne, what topics do you want to hear them cover?
Welcome to NPR.org’s live-chat coverage of the second presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor.
In the spirit of this town-hall style debate, in which voters in the audience get to ask the candidates questions, feel free to share with us the questions you'd want to ask the candidates.
Tonight’s debate at Hofstra University on Long Island, NY is viewed as critical for the president who was widely seen as the biggest loser after an uninspired and uninspiring performance at the first presidential debate in Denver.
Mitt Romney was awarded a big win in that first debate with his assertive performance that resulted in what appears to be the biggest ever post-debate bump in the national and swing state polls. Some of the most recent polls, in fact, show a race that’s essentially tied or even give Romney a slight lead.
Tonight’s debate will likely mostly focus on domestic issues since the questions are coming from voters though there could be some questions on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi or U.S. policy in Afghanistan.
This town hall style debate, with audience members of undecided voters identified by Gallup, is a wildcard for both candidates since real people can ask questions in a real-people way that puts candidates on unfamiliar terrain.
@trailguy, NPR's live broadcast will go live at 9 p.m. ET.
@JD: A debate commission official said that the voters are either undecided or leaners who could still be convinced. Gallup certainly would ask the question of voters if they are affiliated with a party or independent.
One of the best examples of the risks of town-hall style debates occurred during a 1992 debate when an audience member asked President George H.W. Bush, Gov. Bill Clinton and Ross Perot how they were “personally affected by the national debt.”
That unusual question was one the candidates clearly hadn’t gotten on the trail. Bush had to answer first, usually a disadvantage since there’s less time to think of an answer and Bush’s response reflected that. Clinton, with more time, gave an answer that showed more empathy. It was a major moment that helped Clinton and hurt Bush.
The town-hall style format raises the difficulty factor for Obama. His advisors say he needs to do what he failed to do at the first debate, challenge Romney forcefully when the Republican takes a more centrist position than the positions he held during the Republican primaries when he called himself a severe conservative.
Two days after the first debate, the Labor Department came out with the latest jobless data. All year along, the unemployment rate had been bouncing around between 8.1 and 8.3 percent. In September, it dropped to 7.8 percent. Expect to hear more on jobs tonight.