The Straits Times
Published on Oct 16, 2012

Obama's re-election hopes on line at 2nd debate


WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (AFP)- With his hopes of a second term under threat, United States President Barack Obama will seek to summon fresh energy on Tuesday to thwart Mr Mitt Romney's momentum in their crucial second debate.

Republican Romney's assured performance in the first encounter two weeks ago in Denver, and Mr Obama's own lifeless showing, dented the president's polling numbers, leaving the race effectively tied 21 days before the election.

Mr Obama has admitted he had a "bad night" in Denver. Another one at Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, would be deeply damaging and significantly increase his chances of suffering the historic stigma of a one-term presidency.

Mr Romney must prove that his surprisingly assured showing in Denver was not a fluke and faces a higher bar of expectations, as his aides busily talk up prospects of an Obama comeback in hopes of managing post-debate news coverage.