Updated 10/15/2012 10:55 PM
Decision 2012: Hofstra University Prepares For Momentous Presidential Debate
New York is taking center stage in the increasingly close presidential race Tuesday night, when President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney square off at Hofstra University in a town hall-style second debate. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
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The eyes of the world will be on Hempstead, N.Y. on Tuesday night, when Presidential Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney debate in Hofstra University. How the candidates answer the questions could sway who becomes the nation's next president.
"We're very grateful to be back at Hofstra. It's amazing to see the set go up and to understand what is going to take place here," said Janet Brown of the Commission on Presidential Debates, as the hall on Hofstra underwent final preparations.
NY1 will bring the debate live at 9 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a special half-hour wrap-up show with reaction and analysis.
The town hall will be filled with Nassau County residents. Noted suburban expert Lawrence Levy of Hofstra University thinks those voters tend to be more liberal than others.
"The voters in Nassau have the same issues as voters anywhere else, they just have different demands and expectations for their life," said Levy.
Outside the auditorium, signs and political artwork were being arranged and the university's 11,700 students seemed to buzz with nervous energy.
"I think the energy is just crazy," said Hofstra student Chelsea Gillyard.
This collegiate pride united Gillyard, a Democrat from the Bronx, and Victoria Rametta, a Republican from Connecticut. Both political junkies, they seemed to gawk at how their campus transformed into the epicenter of the presidential race.
"A helicopter flew outside my room this morning, it was pretty loud. It felt like someone was going to come through my window. It was pretty awesome," said Gillyard.
Only one thing could make it better.
"Unfortunately, I have not gotten a ticket yet. If I could bribe, if I could buy the ticket off someone I would, but I can't. They are very strict with the tickets," Rametta said.
Who can get in aside from the candidates, the moderator and the undecided voters? There is a lottery for students. Otherwise, Hofstra has set up four watch parties, plus two for the surrounding communities and two for alumni.