POSTED: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 4:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — They're settng up for Wednesday's presidential debate in Denver, and one of Mitt Romney's biggest backers sounds upbeat.
"Every time he's been challenged in one of these situations, and then had a debate, he's come forward with an outstanding performance in that. I plead guilty to having confidence in the guy on Wednesday night," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Monday.
Still, Romney trails in every battleground state.
"He's got to redefine himself as someone who cares about the average American. He's got to show how his policies connect to that caring, and he's got to show how President Obama's policies have not produced a better result than his policies will. Boy, that's a lot to do in one debate," says Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
At a Sunday evening rally in Nevada President Obama denied he's confident.
"No, no, Governor Romney, he's a good debater. I'm just okay," Mr Obama said. "But what I'm most concerned about is having a serious discussion about what we need to do to keep the country growing."
While the candidates disappear for debate practice, their campaigns are working harder.
In states where early voting has already opened President Obama's campaign is encouraging his supporters to cast their ballots now, lessening the impact of a Romney win in the debates.
A big swing in the polls is possible.
In 2000 al gore was ahead of George W. Bush until their debates.
He lost nine points and the White House in the weeks that followed.