While the discussion about John McCain is still going strong, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will debate deep in the heart of Texas one short hour from now! Liberty and I are gearing up to watch and we have a mission: We're each going to focus on a debate participant we're not voting for. We think this might give some interesting, perhaps subjective, definitely surprising insight. I'm on the Obama beat, and Liberty's got an eagle-eye on Hillary. If you want to play along we'll be here in the comments!
Here's what we're also keeping in mind:
- Texans favor John McCain when faced with a Clinton/McCain or Obama/McCain match-up. A CNN poll shows that McCain leads Clinton 55 percent to 42 percent; Obama does a little better with 44 percent to McCain's 52 percent. Given the McCain-ward pitch of the state, will the debating Democrats be looking to reach out to possible conservative Democrats?
- After losing ten straight contests, Hillary needs to win this most populous, most delegate-rich state. She's actively courting Hispanic voters, who are likely to account for about 35 percent of the Democratic primary electorate. How will Obama try to snag those voters instead?
- This debate is not only deep in the heart of Texas, it's deep in the campaign. That means enough has happened that will undoubtedly have to be addressed: Michelle Obama's "pride" comment; Hillary's losing streak; and both will probably address the big McCain story of the day.
I'm also interested to see who's running against whom. Does Obama focus on McCain while Clinton focuses on Obama? It's arguably the most pivotal debate of the season. Who's in?