By: Megan Palera
Republicans and Democrats held watch parties in Lincoln to take in all the action. To say they were excited about the first presidential debate would be an understatement.
Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama received plenty of applause Wednesday night. With the polls neck and neck, this debate is the most critical of all three. And Republicans know it.
"My expectations were a little bit dampened. I wasn't sure how he was gonna do but actually the Governor is more articulate tonight than he's been on the stump speech for a long time," Republican Dallas Jones said.
Dressed for success, Dallas Jones brought his 13-year-old son to watch at the viewing party. He says it's an important moment in their relationship.
"I was the county chair 3 or 4 years ago and he made virtually every event; loves the fact that he knows a lot of the Republican politicians. So this is kind of a thing that we do together and have a lot of fund with it," Jones said.
Just a few blocks away, local Democrats gathered to cheer on the President. As the candidates sparred on jobs, the economy, and taxes, proud Obama supporters say he just won the battleground states.
"I worked on Obama's campaign in 2008 and wasn't able to vote for him and so this is the first time that I'll be able to actually cast my vote for Obama this year," Democrat Rachel Gehringer-Wiar said.
It'll be a restless night for the candidates and the voters as they wait to see how the polls sway in the coming days.
"The important thing is that we come to a debate with an open mind to listen closely to what they have to say that we can make informed decisions with our votes," Democrat Randy Ernst said.
The second debate will take place October 16th in New York. Before that, on October 11th, the vice presidential candidates will spar in Kentucky.