It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.
Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.
However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.