POSTED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 12:02pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Tonight's the second of three presidential debates before next month's election. This one takes place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York -- with a different format than we saw two weeks ago.
What you'll see tonight is much more interactive, and the candidates hope, more engaging. Both sides say they're ready.
Team Romney is full of confidence. "Mitt's prepared, Mitt's confident, Mitt's got a good presence about him," said Mitt Romney's Wife, Ann Romney.
Team Obama, has a cheerleader in the wings. "I'm smiling, I'm giving a thumbs up if he can see it. I assume that he can so I make sure that I'm always giving him that positive love," said First Lady Michelle Obama.
This second debate is a town hall format, with questions from the audience. And the candidates, pushing their own agendas: "These debates are giving us the ability to cut thru the clutter and give people a very clear choice," said Rep. Paul Ryan, Vice Presidential Nominee.
"There needs to be a more compelling economic argument made tomorrow night about why the Obama/Biden ticket is really the one that's gonna keep the country moving in the right direction," said State Delegate Margi Vanderhye, Virginia.
Aides say the President will bring up Romne's vague tax math, and the "47%" Romney dismissed, caught on camera.
Romney's sure to bring up the administration's snafu on Libya, initially calling the deaths of four Americans there part of a riot, not a terror attack.
Now secretary of state clinton's taking responsibility. "I don't think we want to get into any blame game," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Reuters daily tracking poll still has President Obama ahead by two points - essentially, a tie.
After tonight's debate, Republicans hit the road with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice while Former President Clinton and Bruce Springsteen rally for the democrats - all in battleground Ohio.