As the election is in its last few weeks, the first of three debates will air tonight. President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney will face off at the University of Denver in Colorado at 9pm et, 6pm pt, in what will prove to be a pivotal turning point in the elections. According to NBC/WSJ polls released over the last 18 hours, President Obama holds a narrow and tightening national lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters, 49%-46%. It’s gearing up to be tight in the battleground states of Florida, where it’s Obama 47%, Romney 46%, and Virginia with Obama 48% and Romney 46%. But Ohio definitely has Obama’s back, the president has a huge advantage, 51%-43%.

This first debate will be strictly devoted to Domestic Policy. The listed topics, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates, are the economy, health care, the role of government and governing. Romney’s comments about the 47% will surely draw attention when it comes to economy, as well as President Obama’s last four years in office.Each candidate will need to make the ‘big sell” when it comes to the economic goals for the country. This will definitely play a key role in who will actually ‘win’ the debate.

According to Commission on Presidential Debates the format of the debates are:

The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six-time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate.

Segments 1, 2 and 3: The Economy

Segment 4: Health Care

Segment 5: The Role of Government

Segment 6: Governing

The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.

PBS News Hour’s Jim Lehrer will be the moderator tonight. Lehrer, who’s no stranger to moderating, also moderated the first presidential debate in 2008, in Oxford, Miss., between then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain.

The Presidential Debates have also turned into social gatherings for people to discuss and interact with the debates. Debate viewing parties have been promoted heavily over the last few weeks. Social media will also be on fire tonight with “keyboard pundits” offering their opinion on every hit and miss of the debate. With only 34 days until the election, these three debates will definitely sway voters and quite possibly seal the deal on who’s going to be our next president.

Are you tuning into the debates tonight?

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  • Mademoiselle

    Fell asleep due to illness, but the first half-hour that I did see frustrated me. I got a whole lot of “what the other guy is proposing is just wrong” and not enough of “this is exactly what I have planned and how it’s going to happen.” If I heard $5 Trillion Dollar Tax Break one more time from either one of them…

    Then again, maybe the good parts happened after 9:30. I’ll be watching the online version tonight after some tea.