Today is presidential debate day at the University of Denver

Obama, Romney face off in first debate

DENVER - The national political spotlight is on Denver again as President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney meet in their first debate.

Romney has been in Colorado since Monday. The president arrived Wednesday afternoon, flying in to Buckley Air Force Base and then arriving by motorcade to the University of Denver.

The debate will be seen live on Denver's 7 at 7 p.m. MST and will last 90 minutes. However, ABC NEWS will host live coverage from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then 7NEWS will follow with live coverage from 9 p.m. to  10:35 p.m.

Drivers are being warned that Interstate 25 will be closed from Santa Fe to Hampden from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.  because of the debate at DU. Expect side street closures near the school. The closures have commuters scrambling for alternate routes or mass transit, with many deciding to work from home or call in sick.

Parts of Interstate 225 and Interstate 25 were closed in the afternoon for the Romney and Obama motorcades.

The university expects protesters and interested observers to gather outside the debate.

The debate will be shown on screens in the "DebateFest" area for people who didn't get tickets.Watch parties are also planned around the state.

Fifty-two million people tuned in to the first debate four years ago, and 80 percent of the nation's adults reported watching at least a bit of the debates between Obama and Republican John McCain.

Denver was also in the political spotlight four years ago when the Democratic National Convention was held in Denver.

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