Presidential candidates gearing up for debates - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Presidential candidates gearing up for debates

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The President campaigns in Nevada The President campaigns in Nevada
Candidate Mitt Romney Candidate Mitt Romney
WASHINGTON, DC -

On the road to the White House, this could be the single most important week. The first of three Presidential debates is Wednesday night in Denver, Colorado.

Republicans agree it's the best chance Mitt Romney has to turn around his polls in the battleground states.

Mitt Romney will be side by side with President Obama, and 60 million people could tune in. "It's huge," said one prominent Republican.

They're setting up for the debate in Denver.

One of Mitt Romney's biggest backers sounds upbeat.

"Every time he's been challenged in one of these situations, and then had debate, he's come forward with an outstanding performance in that," said Governor Chris Christie. "I plead guilty to having confidence in the guy on Wednesday night."

But Romney trails in every battleground state.

"He's got to redefine himself as someone who cares about the average American," said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. "He's got to show how his policies connect to that caring, and he's got to show how President Obama's policies have not produced a better result than his policies will. Boy, that's a lot to do in one debate."

At a rally in Nevada last night, President Obama denied he's confident.

"No, no, Governor Romney, he's a good debater," Obama said. "I'm just okay. But what I'm most concerned about is having a serious discussion about what we need to do to keep the country growing."

While the candidates disappear for debate practice, their campaigns are working harder.

"He did the best he could with the Congress he had to work with," said Iowa Obama campaign volunteer Patricia Harper. "We want to make sure that we have potential voters."

Pat finds Obama backers like Kathy Gertin.

"Would she vote early?" Pat asks.

"By mail?" Gertin said. "Yes. Good."

Team Obama is getting votes in the bag in case the debate goes Mitt Romney's way.

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