Clinton vs. Trump: First Debate Tonight!

The stage is set.  Drama and nail-biting anticipation fill the air. Can you feel it?

The first presidential debate tonight between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, promises to be a doozy.

It's expected to be the most-watched debate ever, with 80-100 million viewers tuning in. Not since the showdown between President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980 have so many Americans watched a presidential debate on TV.

Many are wondering which Donald Trump will show up: the more subdued candidate we've seen the last couple of weeks, or the no-holds-barred, anything goes version of him who lit into his Republican contenders during the primaries.

The same goes for Hillary Clinton: Will we see the lawyerly policy wonk we've grown accustomed to over the years, or a more relaxed, less rigid Hillary who attempts to make a connection with voters?

Trump has said that if Hillary treats him with respect, he'll do the same in kind.

Pundits contend that if Hillary wants to come out victorious, she'll have no choice but to lay into Trump and try to put him on the defensive. They reason that it may increase the odds of unleashing the ugly, irascible side of the real estate magnate that many voters have come to frown upon.

Indeed, a winning strategy will involve more than just outsmarting him on policy, as many voters -- particularly his adherents -- recognize Trump is a newly-minted politician and are willing to turn a blind eye to his perceived lack of substance.

Trump, for his part, has to appear presidential and make the case that he represents change -- much like Obama did in 2008 -- while Hillary will merely perpetuate the same ineffective policies that hamstring the country today.

It'll be a debate for the ages -- at least that's what CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC want us to think. So much is at stake in this election, and the first debate has the potential to radically alter the polls, which have tightened considerably in recent weeks.

Hopefully, the debate will live up to the billing.

Will you be among the millions tuning in tonight?

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