JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- UNF political science professor Michael Binder says Thursday night's debate between the VP candidates is a chance for Paul Ryan to show he's a strong candidate, and for Joe Biden to get the momentum back for the Democrats.
Binder says Ryan can build on the momentum Mitt Romney got from the debate last week against President Barack Obama, and it's a chance for voters to get to know him.
"So this is a real national coming out party. He had his first step at the convention, but you know, Democrats weren't really paying attention to that. This is an opportunity for him to address Independents, Democrats and even his party. So, he needs to keep the momentum that Romney built."
Binder says Joe Biden on the other hand needs to stop the bleeding, needs to be aggressive and he needs to start poking holes in some of Romney's plans.
Binder says social security and medicare issues are important for the candidates to address, especially in Florida with it's older population.
He expects an entertaining debate. "Honestly, most people have made up their minds, but this could be entertaining. One, you have a person who you don't know a lot about, so you get to see them and learn about them and that's, I think, useful and important from a civics perspective. But Joe Biden could say anything at any given time and Paul Ryan, I think, is smart enough and quick on his feet enough to adjust and you could get some entertainment and you could get some fireworks."
Binder says public perception of VP candidates can have a huge impact on winning the white house, he cited Sarah Palin who was considered a "drag" on the John McCain ticket.
Ryan or Biden won't win the debate and win the election tonight, but they could do things to lose it and that's dangerous, Binder said.