Updated 10/04/2012 06:31 AM
Do debates actually help voters?
Whether it was at a watch party or in the privacy of their own home, millions of Americans tuned into the first presidential debate. The question coming out of it is, are people really swayed by what the candidates had to say? Our Iris St. Meran went to some events hosting the debates to find out.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Wednesday night was highly anticipated. It's the first time these two presidential candidates faced off in a debate this election year. Many people attended debate events to listen in.
Onondaga County AARP Legislative Coordinator Robert O’Connor said, "Debates can be very helpful to get people to look again, the candidates to look at issues that the moderators will hopefully give them."
There were plenty issues discussed from the economy to Social Security to education.
Can one debate influence a decision at the polls?
"I think Democrats and Republicans who are watching, they might be pretty wetted to their choices already but the candidates are probably going to spin their messages to attract the undecided voters," said Onondaga Community College Political Science Professor Nina Tamrowski.
AARP and Onondaga Community College had election gathering events around the Syracuse area. Most people we spoke with are already decided but still find value in watching the candidates in action.
Keziah Keeley said, "I think they're very important in getting the candidates to talk directly to each other instead of these indirect attacks that we see constantly going on."
Marilyn Woyciesjes said, "I'd like to just hear about the issues. Tell me what you're going to do about Medicare, how is your plan different from your opponent's plan?"
And there's still more time and more debates to get that and other questions sorted out.