Will debates help voters decide?

Will debates help voters decide?

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While the candidates prepare for Wednesday night's first Presidential debate of the election season, Texas Southern University professor Dr. Thomas Freedman says you can expect both to do well.

"I can think of few definitions of debating which would make them a bad debater," said Dr. Freedman.

Dr. Freedman knows a thing or two about debating. He's been a debate coach for more than 60 years. He says these Presidential debates aren't really debates at all.

"They know the questions that are going to be asked and we know the answers they are going to give so what kind of debate is that?" asked Dr. Freedman.

He calls it a "staged performance" since the candidates have had so much time to rehearse. His students seem to agree.

"It's hard to produce real results in a traditional debate when you're going up against things that are planned," says TSU student Nathaniel Harris III.

But we spoke with voters in Austin who say they'll be keeping a close eye on the debates.

"I just want to see how each of them will handle the questions that are going to be put forth," says Todne Tyner.

Friend Robert Martinez adds, "That's where you get the information you really want from the candidates."

While Dr. Freedman may not call them debates, he'll still encourage his students to watch.

"What happens in politics, they ought to know that, yes, but not to get instructions on how to debate," said Dr. Freedman.

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