Different format could change the tone of second presidential debate

Oct 16, 2012

In another face-off between the presidential candidates, the format for tomorrow’s debate might create a different tone in the discussion.

An expert at MU said the second Presidential Debate could be a challenge for both candidates. President Barack Obama was criticized by some for not being aggressive in the last debate and said he would perform better in the next debate.

However, University of Missouri Communication Professor Mitchell McKinney explained that it may be difficult for President Obama to be aggressive as the debate is town-hall style, where citizens ask the questions.

"It’s difficult to take an attack-oriented strategy and play that out in front of an audience of citizens who are sitting there waiting for the candidates to respond to their concerns," McKinney said.

Professor McKinney said typically, candidates who are aggressive in town-hall style debates are seen unfavorably by viewers. He also said that President Obama needs to redeem himself because Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s poll numbers rose after his last debate performance.