Local observers looking forward to seeing Obama, Romney finally face each other on the same stage

GREENFIELD — The presidential race isn’t hitting as close to home as it was four years ago, but local election watchers are still looking forward to the first debate tonight between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Domestic policy, including the economy, health care and the role of government, will be highlighted in the 9 p.m. debate from Denver, which will be televised on multiple channels. In 2008, the campaigns were active in Indiana as the debates approached. Polls showed Indiana was going to be a swing state, and it indeed would tilt into the Democrats’ column for the first time in more than 40 years.

This time around, local political experts note how little attention the state is attracting, because polls show Romney likely will win here.

So, while a lot of voters already have made up their minds, the debate series that begins tonight has local observers eager to see how their favorite candidate will fare.

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