All eyes on the second Presidential debate

By WEEK Producer

October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 3:00 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- Robert Bradley is a Professor Emeritus in the Illinois State University Department of Politics and Government.

He says Mitt Romney needs to do a better job relating to the average voter, which is what a town-hall is designed to do.

Bradley says President Obama will need to amp up his enthusiasm.

However, viewers may be more forgiving if they have already chosen a side.

"Political science research shows debates make no difference for most voters, even if a candidate makes a tremendous mistake or has a tremendous, great performance," said Bradley. "It either serves to corroborate what people say or they'll dismiss it and say, 'I like the guy anyhow, and it was just a bad night.'"

For many college students, including those at Illinois State University, this will be their first time voting.

They say they have been following the political scene closely and plan on watching the second presidential debate.

"If they can, yeah, because I feel like everybody wants to be a part of something bigger in the world," said Jake Moore, and ISU freshman and first-time voter. "And since this our first chance to vote, you're probably going to do it."

"What is personal to me is student loans and debt and stuff like that of course," said David Walker, and ISU senior. "So, I definitely want to hear more of that if possible."

According to the McLean County Clerk's office, more new voters registered in the county this year than in 2008, and at least 75 percent of them are ISU students.

Local experts, like Bradley, say the majority of voters ages 18 to 25 are likely going to vote for the democratic party.

The presidential debate begins at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday on WEEK, WHOI, and other stations.

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