Eyewitness News

Debate eve

Monday, October 15, 2012
Bill Ritters daily take on the news.

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

Debates matter. That's clearly the thinking of both Presidential candidates, who spend vast quantities of their precious calendar cramming and studying and prepping and honing their one liners for tomorrow night's second of three debates. It's at Hofstra University on Long Island - the second consecutive Presidential election that the university has hosted a face-off.

Remember when you crammed for a test in school? And how much pressure you felt? Well, the stakes weren't as high, and, oh yeah, 60 million or so peeps weren't watching you and deconstructing your every word.

Tonight we'll preview the Hofstra debate - which has taken on greater stakes because of the uniformly negative responses to Pres. Obama's performance at the first debate two weeks ago, where he appeared lackluster and, at times, disinterested. That debate changed the tide and momentum of the campaign, which until then had been seen as the President pulling away from challenger Mitt Romney. Since then, the polls have shown a fairly even race.

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So - debates matter. One more note about the debates - a poll from the Pew Research Center shows that voters think the President will do better than Mr. Romney in tomorrow night's debate, by a 41-37 percent margin. But remember, during the first debate, that margin was 51-29. Debates matter!

We'll have the latest, tonight at 11.

And a note - I'll be on Long Island tomorrow, anchoring our coverage for Eyewitness News at 4, 5 and 6. I'll also be tweeting and posting on Facebook, and looking for your thoughts during our coverage and the debate.

Also at 11 tonight, it figures to be a high-octane gathering on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where folks who live there have had it up to here with new bars opening up.

And we're on Long Island, where one town is trying to boost yearly parking fees by more than 1000% at a garage next to the LIRR station. You can just imagine the reaction from commuters.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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