Mitt RomneyAfter two dramatic debates, with a race that is all but tied nationally, we have come to this -- one final 90-minute showdown that may decide who becomes the next president of the United States.

Not since 1980, arguably, has one debate carried such significance. And other than 2004, it's hard to isolate a debate on foreign policy that could decide who wins the next election.

But this last debate isn't just about foreign policy. It's about something much bigger. It's about leadership and decision-making. It's about confidence and strength of purpose. It's about what kind of president the American people can expect in the face of international crisis.

During this debate, the smart candidate will use his command of the world stage to demonstrate not just a knowledge of foreign policy, but why it impacts the domestic issues that matter most to the American people in this election. Don't care about the rise of China? Most Americans may not, but we do care about China's impact on America's job market. Voters may not care about the Middle East or Europe as much as they care about more-obviously domestic issues, but they want a leader who will make sure America has low energy prices and competes and wins in a global economy.

In a race like this, where the few undecided voters are looking for a good reason -- really, any reason -- to make their final choice, these arguments and this debate will make the difference. All that being said, click through the slides below to see what you should be watching for tonight.



Chris Kofinis is a Democratic strategist. Frank Luntz is a Republican pollster and strategist. AOL has an elections content partnership with Chris Kofinis and Luntz Global.

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annedyth

Neither of them will do the job. Neither a 'good man' or a good busness man ' is nessisarily a good leader.
I've made the desision I don't trust either of them to be president.

October 23 2012 at 11:30 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
oldmanhoo

Regardless of who you think won last night's debate, my son (obviously a Dem) sent me an email I got a good chuckle out of. He said, "Romney makes Sarah Palin sound like Henry Kissinger".

October 23 2012 at 7:19 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Rakesh Patel

Obama looked petulant and childish, and it was easy for Mitt to get under his thin skin. Obama wanted to lecture him about ships that his own secretary of defense has asked for! Obama wants to mock Mitt's math, however when that comes from someone whose own math has failed to add up, the claim is very weak. Obama and other socialists want to accuse Mitt of sending jobs overseas, but fail to realize that companies dont send jobs out of the country, consumers do. Even the state of California purchased the new Oakland bay bridge from China, because it was cheaper. America's manufacturing workers send their jobs to China every time they shop at Walmart.

October 23 2012 at 12:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
PoliticalPost

President Obama was very knowledgeable, firm and staedy while Romney was unclear and flip -flopped from position that that he held just weeks ago. They should use lie detector on such candidates. Romney showed very weak person to be chief. He lost pretty bad!!!!!!!

October 23 2012 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to PoliticalPost's comment
cobleremodels

Who were you watching?

October 23 2012 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patty

What a joke...if they used a lie detector on Obama They would find out what a liar HE really is. He has done nothing but lie since he entered the race for president in 2008. It is so sad that you people just ignore that fact. Obama was out to attack Romney last night instead of focusing on the questions. He constantly interrupted Romney. At least Romney was curtious enough to let Obama finish talking before telling the mediator he would like to respond to Obama. If Obama thinks Romney's plan doesn't add up...he needs to take a long hard look at what his plan has cost us. Obama has raise our deficit more than all of the last 43 presidents combined...& he's got the nerve to say we've got to stop spending...what a joke...If America is going to survive we have got to get rid of Obama. ROMNEY/RYAN in 2012....

October 23 2012 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
am0714

Gee Mr. Romney sweats a lot, must have been very hot on his side of the room. My opinion, he finally realized who he was up against. Obama made him look like a little kid who didn't do any of his homework. I just hope that the 'undecided' saw what I saw. Romney hasn't got a clue, just mumbling that he will create 12 million jobs does not create any jobs, especially coming from someone who just a few years ago was proud to send jobs overseas.

Obama/Biden 2012

October 22 2012 at 11:57 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to am0714's comment
cobleremodels

Very misinformed.

October 23 2012 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patty

You wish...it is not uncommon to sweat when you are under hot lights & some people sweat more than others. Romney knows exactly what he is up against...Obama is a liar & a sneak...he wants to downsize America so we won't be superior to any other country...Obama continues to make statements that Romney was supposed to have said...when in fact all he does is twist words around. Romney has a proven track record...Obama (speaking of a kid that didn't do his homework) cannot run on his record because he is a total failure & a big liar...Obama's a joke. Obama has had secret meeting with China behind our backs, he's practically handing us over to them...& then he is heard telling Russia that he will be more flexible after the election...darn right he will because his word won't mean anything then because he won't be in the white house. ROMNEY/RYAN in 2012.

October 23 2012 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cpeter

yes h i also her him say that he would balance the buggest in 8 to 10 year. so what may him think president obama s should have clean all of mr bush mess up and balance to buggest in 4 year.

October 22 2012 at 11:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to cpeter's comment
h

Romney said that he would balance the budget in 8 to 10 years. Didn't anyone hear that? So, in other words, if we elect him, he is not going to balance the budget either in the next 4 years. So if he is going to give tax cuts to the wealthy, not balance our budget, and continue to push his products from his companies in China, how will that help us? And it seems that he plans to have the budget balanced 2 years AFTER his second term, if he gets it. I cannot believe that not a single person heard that!

October 22 2012 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h's comment
Patty

h...yes he said 4 to 10 years...with all of the added debt that Obama has added. I heard that loud & clear. He is going to start working on that as soon as he takes office...not spend like a maniac & wait until election time 4 years later & then say we've got to stop spending...what a joke. I guess you democrats are deaf...I don't know how many time Romney has to say...tax cuts for the middle & lower incomes...Romney doesn't have products in China...he has a blind trust that has made some investments in China...& if you were listening Obama's pension also has investments in China...not something that either has done directly on their own. Obama is trying to down size America so we won't be superior to anyone...it's hard to believe that you can't see that....Obama wants to make the US so poor that they cannot fight off his socialism...Hello..... Romney/Ryan in 2012.

October 23 2012 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mtpkots

Bye bye, Barry,

October 22 2012 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil Collins

Interesting Debate Romney was like a pitcher trying to protect his lead and not throw a fast ball down the middle of the plate and Obama was like the hitter from the opposing team swinging for the fencec with every pitch. Did Obama win the Debate - maybe but did he win the game only time will tell and the voters.

October 22 2012 at 11:21 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Phil Collins's comment
Patty

I don't think the debate helped or hurt either party...most people have already made up their minds....& now Obama is trying to inflate his record...Obama is a liar & really doesn't care about America...it's time to let someone else step in & try to correct all the crap Obama has created.

October 23 2012 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
derricktvrs

All the governor was trying to do was survive two night by any means necessary and I just do not understand how the people of this country can believe anything that he says after agreeing with just about everything the president has said so that he would not look bad in the eyes of the people.

He knows that he has been lying to the people and now he is going to wait and see how many of these simple minded individuals going too let him lie his way into the White House.

October 22 2012 at 11:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply