Presidential Debate Preview
DENVER, COLORADO (WENY) -- The University of Denver is ready for the first presidential debate tonight. Millions of people across the country and the world are expected to tune in. Some analysts say the debate needs to be a game-changer for Mitt Romney, who trails President Obama by slim margins in most polls - including Colorado.
It's a holiday at the University of Denver - but not one usually on the calendar. Classes are cancelled because of the presidential debate. The hockey arena transformed. Security is tight.
"It's pretty exciting just looking around and seeing how pumped people are getting," said DU Sophomore, Samantha Crane.
Media from around the world have taken over are this college of 5,000 undergrads. But Students don't seem to mind.
"Especially with Colorado being a swing state, it's pretty cool to know that two political parties that are so well represented can be present on our campus and they can see just how beautiful this state is," said DU Sophomore, Li Mattson.
Tonight's debate will be divided into six-15 minute segments. Moderator Jim Lehrer will ask President Obama and Mitt Romney questions about the economy, health care, the role of government, and governing.
"President Obama will be defending his economic record. I think making the case that he has presided over a turnaround in the economy. Whereas mitt Romney is going to be talking about his business experience, his past of creating jobs, and how he can bring that experience to the white house," explained Political Science Professor, Peter Hanson.
DU junior Halter Cunningham is one of the few lucky ones to get a seat inside the debate hall.
"It's the first time in this race that they've really been together. So it'll be interesting to see how they go back and forth," said Halter Cunningham, a DU Junior.
For all the students without a ticket, the university is hosting "Debate Fest" on the quad…with local bands and political talks…and it all leads up to - a debate watch-party.
"It's an incredibly unifying event. So regardless of partisan politics, we can all come together and experience this that's happening on our campus all together," said Project Coordinator, Winter Wall Walker.
This afternoon, both President Obama and Mitt Romney got about an hour each inside the debate hall to take a look around and get mentally prepared for tonight's big debate.