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Updated Oct 16, 2012 - 9:35 am

Pollster: Pressure firmly on Obama for latest debate

(Photo: Associated Press)

PHOENIX -- Many of President Obama's supporters want him to come out swinging at Republican Mitt Romney at Tuesday's second debate.

A Valley pollster said this round's town hall format does not lend itself to that approach.

The president and Mitt Romney will be fielding questions from citizens, not just a moderator. Pollster Mike O'Neil said the pressure is clearly on the president after his subpar debate performance in Denver.

"This format favors a soft touch, quiet and empathetic response that did not serve him well in Denver."

O'Neil said the president would be best served by taking a page out of Vice President Joe Biden's playbook from last week's debate when he disagreed with Romney running mate Paul Ryan.

"He either verbally engaged, smiled or shook his head or laughed and didn't just sit there and accept every word that was spoken."

O'Neil said he was not surprised that Romney came through in Denver but he was surprised by how passive the president was.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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