By Glen Johnson / Boston Globe
President Obama and Mitt Romney enter the final formative stage of their campaign tonight when they square off in the first of three nationally televised debates.
The incumbent Democrat and his Republican challenger will meet for 90 minutes at the University of Denver in a debate sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Jim Lehrer of PBS will moderate. An audience of up to 50 million is expected to watch.
The debate will be shown live on network television and C-Span, starting at 9 p.m. EDT. Boston.com, BostonGlobe.com, and “Political Intelligence” will offer a live blog just below chronicling the pre-debate hype and debate itself.
All three will also offer contemporaneous fact-checking and analysis from Globe reporters expert in various fields, creating a unique “second-screen” experience for viewers seeking additional context for what they are seeing on TV.
The blog will, of course, also serve as a window into the debate to those not near a TV.
Obama and Romney also will debate on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will have a single debate, on Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Ky.