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Programming notes

***Thursday’s 30-minute “The Daily Rundown” lineup: Much more on Romney’s NBC interview… The Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut, former DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney and Club For Growth’s Chris Chocola on jobs, guns and 2012… Plus “Our Patchwork Nation” co-author Dante Chinni on how 12 categories more accurately describe our country than our red-blue maps.

2012: Debate format set

The debate schedule and format is set: “The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates released the format Wednesday for the three rhetorical showdowns in the presidential race, and a fourth between the vice presidential contenders,” the New York Daily News writes. “The debate venues were announced months ago: Oct. 3 in Denver, Oct. 16 at Hofstra, and Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla. The VP debate is Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky. All four 90-minute debates will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time. The first debate deals with domestic policy, while the third will focus on foreign affairs. President Obama and Mitt Romney will be seated between a single moderator, who will pick six topics and devote 15 minutes to each. In a departure from previous debates, the topics will be ‘announced several weeks before the debate,’ according to the commission.”

USA Today looks at the final 100 days and what to expect. The three things to watch: Romney’s VP selection, the candidates’ convention speeches, and the three October debates. Add in advertising strategies and the unprecedented money already being spent by outside groups, get-out-the-vote and early voting strategies, enthusiasm numbers, and voter ID fights in key swing states.

Political Wire: “Gallup Poll: ‘Democrats are significantly less likely now (39%) than they were in the summers of 2004 and 2008 to say they are 'more enthusiastic about voting than usual' in the coming presidential election. Republicans are more enthusiastic now than in 2008, and the same as in 2004.’”

Get ready… Political Wire: “A new report finds six states -- Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina -- are the least-prepared states to catch voting problems.T he best prepared states are Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin.”

"Political Capital reports that Mitt Romney and his allies ran their TV ads 27, 365 times between July 16-23, while Barack Obama and his allies ran their spots, 21,082 times,” GOP 12 notes.