"The Obama campaign would love to see McCain blow up in the debate but I don't think that's going to happen," Schroeder said. "McCain is a very seasoned politician. He knows that he can't lose it on international television in front of 75 million people."
The highly anticipated vice presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin will be held Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., moderated by PBS' Gwen Ifill.
Biden has been preparing for the debate by practicing against Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan.
Biden, a two-time presidential contender and longtime Delaware senator, holds a clear advantage over Palin going into the debates, scholars say.
However, some scholars suggest that with expectations low for the Alaska governor, she may hold an advantage.
"In any discussion with Sarah Palin, if she looks as good as her opponent then she wins because she lacks the experience," Wayne said.
But Schroeder argued that by only allowing Palin to do a handful of interviews, the McCain-Palin campaign may be making a strategic error.
"With Palin it's just that we've seen so little of her and if they continue to withhold her, then it really puts her under this enormous pressure to perform, because people are really curious to know, why hasn't she been doing many one-on-one interviews," Schroeder said.
But, he said, "she is obviously very quick with the one-liners and obviously knows how to work the camera, so I see her as having a lot of advantages in some ways."
Scholars said Biden has a reputation for talking too much and may be constrained by the vice presidential debate format that will force him to compress his answers.
"He sometimes has a hard time getting to the point and of course the thing, too, is how does he treat her, and I think a lot of people will be watching for the dynamic between the two of them," Schroeder said.
Any perceived gaffes will be replayed over and over.
During the 1988 vice presidential debate between Dan Quayle and Lloyd Benson, Quayle, who was perceived to lack experience, made a historic gaffe by seeming to compare himself to former President Kennedy.
"I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency," Quayle said, to which Benson historically responded, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy: I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
McCain, who feels more comfortable in town hall-style formats, challenged Obama to a series of town hall debates this summer, but negotiations between the campaigns fell apart and Obama declined.
Presidential scholar Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institute argues that style has often outweighed substance in the modern era of televised presidential debates.
"How well they do is going to depend on how confident they looked and whether their messages were punchy or not," Hess told ABCNews.com.
While some political analysts say modern presidential debates have devolved into which candidate has the best sound bite, others argue debates give the candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge on issues.