Posted at: 10/16/2012 4:58 PM
Updated at: 10/16/2012 7:47 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4
New Mexico voters will be watching tonight when President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney meet in a debate for the second time, even though it's not likely to change the election in our state.
New Mexico remained blue on the election map even after Obama's staggering defeat and Romney's big win in the first debate two weeks ago. New Mexico is still listed as "likely Democratic", likely to go with Obama, and not likely to change decisively because of a TV debate.
But New Mexico voters realize that the debate could have a game-changing impact in battleground states. Where the outcome is uncertain, those states may determine which man becomes the next president. That's why their attention will be focused on that stage at Hofstra University in suburban New York, where Obama and Romney will face off at 7 p.m. After the last debate it's no wonder that voters will be watching the president closely.
"I think he has to do better, sure," said Lowell Overby, who added that he would be watching tonight. "I think there was significant disappointment, depending on your perspective, or elation, depending on that, based on that last debate."
"He has a lot of explaining to do," said Sue Maes. "And it is the economy. I'm a widow. I live on a fixed income. I go to the grocery store and my God, I get three little bags of groceries and it's a hundred dollars! What is it? Something's wrong!"
"Well, I'm hoping both of them will come out being business-friendly," said Sara Mathis. "So far we've gotten a lot of negatives and a lot of talk about raising corporate taxes and that really bothers me."
Somehow, the debate organizers found about 80 undecided voters who will be the audience for tonight's debate. They will be asking questions on domestic and foreign policy.
In the latest Albuquerque Journal poll, published Sunday, Obama had a ten-point lead over Romney in New Mexico, 49 percent to 39 percent. Only five percent of the voters were undecided, and six percent were for former NM Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President. Johnson is not invited to take part in the debates.