LAS VEGAS - The focus for President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney shifts to the first presidential debate Wednesday in Denver.
Both men will have spent hours preparing for the first of three presidential debates. Debate performance is often based on the overall impressions candidates leave with voters.
President Obama has spent the last few days in Lake Las Vegas preparing for Wednesday's debate. Romney has been preparing in Massachusetts.
Political experts say Romney needs a strong performance to improve his standing in the polls, which have tilted toward Obama in recent weeks.
Observers in Nevada say the debates will clearly showcase the differences between the candidates.
"The main difference in their beliefs about the role of government is how interventionist it should be. How much should be involved in the national economy?" said Geoffrey Lawrence with the Nevada Policy Research Institute.
"Nobody has really understood what Governor Romney's plan is, what his ideas are. We know, specifically for Nevada, it will hurt Nevadans a lot, especially for the middle class," said Michael Flores with ProgressNow Nevada.
With five weeks until Election Day, both candidates are ramping up efforts to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
Nevada is one of nine states both campaigns believe are keys to victory.