Tips and Tricks
Why is this debate different from all other debates? As
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama meet in
In Debate Watching 101 on the
Bill Moyers Journal blog, Kathleen Hall Jamieson tells viewers to make their
own opinions about the candidates, rather than watching the talking heads before
Jamieson also recommends being prepared.
"Come to a debate with a list of the issues that matter to you and ask what you learned about each candidate's record and promises on those issues. Where are they similar and how do they differ?"
As for tonight's debate specifically, The New York Times Caucus blog previews what to expect from McCain and Obama, including details on the financial crisis and how each would lead the country in its midst.
"Questions posted on the Internet for the debate show that voters are intensely interested in what the candidates will do to shore up the tanking financial system. They also want to know how the $700 billion bailout for Wall Street will alter their plans for other domestic and foreign programs."
And while it may seem like a more open and exciting way to get to know the candidates, the town hall format can also be the debate kiss of death, as Slate points out.
"It might be a snooze-fest, full of earnest questions and foggy bromides. But with the spike in negativity coming just ahead of the meeting, there is a chance that one of the two candidates will have to face a question about the harsh tone."
Who do you think has the advantage tonight? What types of questions do you hope to hear the undecided voters in the audience ask?