Let Me Start: The final countdown

Updated
121002-romney-obama-905a
121002-romney-obama-905a

It’s Debate Day, and both candidates must be relieved to know that they woke up to that thought for very the last time this morning.

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will face off tonight from the campus of Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida in the third and final presidential debate, which is to focus exclusively on foreign policy.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows the candidates locked in a dead heat, both with 47% among likely voters.  Among the wider pool of all registered voters, however, Obama is up by five points, 49% to 44%.

Still with the draw among likely voters and with the debate victory score at 1-1, this last debate will be a crucial tie-breaker and an important boost for whoever takes it heading into the last two weeks before the election.

For Romney, it will be a chance to redeem himself for his misfire on Libya at last week’s debate, when he wrongfully accused the president of waiting two weeks before calling the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.  Obama in fact said that “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation,” from the Rose Garden the day after the attack.  We can expect Romney to reboot and reload his criticism toward Obama’s policies on Iran, Israel, Syria, China, Afghanistan, and Russia.

And for Obama, tonight’s debate will be a chance to tout his foreign policy achievements:  the killing of Osama bin Laden, the end of the Iraq war, and the winding down of the Afghanistan war.  Obama will likely aim to accentuate his record and use it to portray Romney as inexperienced on foreign policy and unqualified to be commander-in-chief.

And as we watch the final debate between two presidential candidates, we mourn the loss of another.  Former Sen. George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, died early yesterday morning in Sioux Falls, S.D.  McGovern was a World War II veteran, staunch advocate for ending world hunger, and an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War.  George McGovern was 90-years-old.

You can tune in to watch tonight’s debate at 9:00 pm EST, and be sure to watch Hardball live at 5pm, 7pm, and at midnight.

Explore:

Hardball - Let Me Start

Let Me Start: The final countdown

Updated