But this year's debates seem to be altering the electoral landscape.
Following the first debate two weeks ago, and a lackluster performance by Obama, Romney saw a sustained bounce in the polls, drawing him close to Obama or putting him ahead of the president nationally, according to a flurry of polls.
The Obama campaign was bolstered today by fresh NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls that found Obama with healthy leads in two key swing states, holding a 51-43 lead over Romney in Iowa and a 51-45 lead in Wisconsin.
The debates matter in another way. President Obama had his best fundraising day ever following last week's debate in New York, according to the AP.
The AP also crunched the numbers to reveal the biggest campaign contributors. Both candidates have big name backers. Hollywood director Jeffrey Katzenberg, Obama's single biggest contributor, gave the campaign $2.5 million. And Sheldon Adelson, who has said he would be willing to give Romney $100 million, cashes in as his biggest supporter with a whopping $34.2 million.