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Obama, Romney kick off high-stake second debate


09:54, October 17, 2012

U.S. President Barrack Obama (R) shake hands with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney prior to their second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York state, the United States, Oct. 16, 2012. (Xinhua/Wang Lei)

HEMPSTEAD, United States, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday night kicked off their second presidential debate.

The town-hall-meeting-style face-off, with high stakes for both candidates, took place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, featuring questions from an audience composed of 82 uncommitted voters selected by Gallup.

The first question was from a 20-year-old college student who asked if he can support himself after graduation. Both Romney and Obama touted their plans to put Americans back to work.

Romney came into the debate with clear momentum behind his back and rising polling numbers, following his commanding performance in the first debate in Denver on Oct. 3.

Commentators say Obama needs to do well in the second debate in order to stop Romney's surge, or the incumbent could see the election slip away.

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