U.S. Democratic Senator Joe Biden and Republican Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska face off tonight, Thursday night in the only debate between the two vice presidential candidates.
The debate in St. Louis, Missouri is expected to focus
on the economic crisis. But Palin, who is a relative newcomer to the
national stage, also is expected to be closely watched.
Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain's pick of Palin
as his running mate has energized party conservatives, but critics
question whether Palin has enough experience.
McCain during a CNN interview today, Thursday expressed confidence in her "experience, talent and leadership."
Palin faces an experienced Washington hand in Senator Biden, but the Delaware lawmaker is prone to verbal gaffes.
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama today said he believes Biden will do -- in his words -- "pretty well."
Obama and McCain held their first debate last week and will hold two more this month.
Recent voter opinion polls show Obama with a significant lead over McCain. At least three separate national surveys conducted by the Associated Press, CBS News and the Pew Research Center show Obama ahead of McCain by between seven to nine percent.
Obama spoke today during a rally in the northern state of Michigan. McCain is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting in the western state of Colorado today.