UNLV debate team weighs in on debate strategy - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

UNLV debate team weighs in on debate strategy

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President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney square off in Denver Wednesday. President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney square off in Denver Wednesday.

Wednesday's presidential debate is going to come down to strategy and who has the best training and tools to perfect the presidential debate process.

University of Nevada Las Vegas debate experts agree 90 percent of winning a debate happens before a word is spoken. They said it's about preparation. While President Barack Obama may have an edge in the polls, Mitt Romney may have the upper hand because he's had more time to practice.

"For the most part it's a lot of repetition," said UNLV debate team member Christian Bato. "It's also a lot of practice to make sure you know the arguments."

Bato knows how to win a debate. The UNLV senior is 19-0 when it comes to one-on-one showdowns.

The undecided voter said whichever candidate exudes the most confidence and responds to the other side's arguments better will win.

"I think it's important for each candidate to have their own unique spin on the situation," Bato said. "It allows them to keep control of what they want to talk about."

UNLV graduate student Michael Eisenstadt coaches Bato. He agrees confidence is 99 percent of winning any battle.

"President Obama can't appear too confident," Eisenstadt said. "He needs to play this out like they are 50/50."

With the debate's focus on the economy, Eisenstadt wants to see who moves the American people more.

"The audience really needs to feel what you are saying," Eisenstadt said.

"I think the Romney people will try and get Obama off his game and get him to say something that might appear condescending to Romney," said UNLV debate coach Jake Thompson.

Thompson said Romney will try and change the game given the housing crunch and high unemployment rates.

"President Obama is not invincible," Thompson said. "Although he's a gifted speaker he has some policy problems that Romney could exploit and in doing so he could swing voters to his camp."

Thompson adds five out of the past six presidential debates the challenger has won, not the incumbent president.

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