Nightly News | September 28, 2012
>>> trail today, mitt romney acknowledges he is fighting an uphill battle in the battleground state of pennsylvania , but he maintains he can win there, as attention is already turning to the debates next week, which could be a game-changer. good evening, peter.
>> reporter: savannah, good evening to you, this weekend both mitt romney and the president have light schedules planned. instead, they will be hunkering down in private, focusing on trying to refine their message ahead of next week's debate, that will be watched by the largest audience that either of them has seen all campaign. rallying supporters in pennsylvania this afternoon, mitt romney made this bold promise.
>> you're right, they're wrong, and we'll win pennsylvania and take the white house .
>> reporter: but for that to happen with polls showing him trailing the president, analysts say romney must change the trajectory of the race. in a discussion, he acknowledged this is an important opportunity.
>> and i think it will give people a chance to understand where we actually stand, as opposed to where our opposition thinks we stand. and then they can make a more informed choice.
>> reporter: while both candidates are practicing in private, president obama held a closed-door session this afternoon. and publicly their campaigns are showering the opponents with praise. a message from one expert outlines romney 's skills as a prepared, aggressive, debater. the romney campaign is touting president obama 's natural gifts and the extensive seasoning under the bright lights of the bright stage. today, in a mock debate, senator john kerry dismissed the idea that the republican nominee is an experienced debater, pointing to more than 20 debates.
>> oh please, just give me 20 breaks, not just one.
>> reporter: but analysts saying given the state of the race, the burden may be on the challenger.
>> he has to do something to get people to take a deep breath, and say wait a minute, well, i thought i made a decision about supporting the president but maybe i better look a second time at mitt romney , that is what he needs to do.
>> reporter: and one other thing on today's flight this evening, mitt romney said that people tend to during the debates, focus on the small things, like the color of one's tie, or even dramatic one-liners. but if he can get a handle on the debate, he is confident he will win this thing.