HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) - President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney face off Tuesday in the second of their three debates, this one in a town hall-style setting in which they'll take questions from likely voters.
The stakes couldn't be higher: Obama must get his campaign back on track after a poor performance in the first debate that left Democrats demoralized and Obama's lead evaporating both in national polls and those in key battleground states. For Romney, who polls among voters showed won the first debate overwhelmingly, a second strong performance would boost his momentum going into the third debate next Monday and the final two weeks before Election Day.
Here are five things to watch for on Tuesday:
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Obamahas been the first to take credit and the last to take blame
During Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts, he cumulatively spent more than a year — part or all of 417 days — out of the state, according to a review of his schedule and other records. More than 70 percent of that time was spent on personal or political trips unrelated to his job, a New York Times analysis found.
Mr. Romney, now the Republican presidential nominee, took lengthy vacations and weekend getaways. But much of his travel was to lay the groundwork for the presidential ambitions he would pursue in the 2008 election, two years after leaving office.
During his last year as governor, he was largely an absentee chief executive. In October 2006, for example, he was out of the state all or part of 25 days.