Join us tonight on FDL at 6pm ET as Eli Cates hosts a debate watching party

Heading into tonight’s debate, most Americans expect Mitt Romney to perform worse on stage than President Obama. Multiple polls found that by nearly a two-to-one margin, Americans expect Obama to win theĀ  first debate this evening.

According to Pew’s polling, 51 percent think Obama will do a better job in the first debate while only 29 percent think Romney will do better. Gallup found similar results. Their polling indicates 57 percent think Obama will do a better job while only 33 percent that Romney will win the debate.

From Gallup:

Obama vs. Romney in presidental debates.gif

This is a mixed bag for the Romney campaign. The fact the Americans think he will lose the debate implies that voters believe he is lacking some important skills. That speaks to a serious underlying weakness. People want a competent and skilled leader.

On the plus side for Romney: since expectations are so low it will be easy for Romney to exceed them. If he merely performs as well as Obama, many will likely view it as impressive.