TODAY | October 02, 2012
>>> now to tomorrow's highly anticipated debate between president obama and mitt romney . today both candidates are hunkering down for what could be a pivotal night in this race. chuck todd is nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent in denver tonight in place where the debate will take place tomorrow night. chuck, good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning, savannah. these candidates have each done four mock debates, mitt romney and president obama . they will each do one more today. it's more preparation than any two candidates have ever put in to general election presidential debates in the modern era of presidential politics .
>> because i get the opportunity to introduce to you the next president of the united states , governor mitt romney .
>> reporter: mitt romney landed in colorado monday night scoring the endorsement of denver broncos football legend john elway .
>> what an honor, what a welcome and colorado welcome. thank you so much
>> reporter: governor's first and only event ahead of tomorrow's big presidential debate was at a packed air and space museum in denver .
>> people want to know who is going to win? who is going to score the punches? you know, in my view it's not so much winning andalusian or even the people themselves, the president and myself. it's about something bigger than that.
>> reporter: still playing off the enthusiastic crowd, romney appeared to test out a few new zingers including this one on the keystone oil pipeline halted by the obama administration.
>> by the way, i'm going to get that pipeline from canada if i have to build it myself.
>> reporter: romney 's running mate paul ryan was greeted by his family in iowa before kicking off a bus tour in dubuque where he emphasized the importance of the upcoming debates.
>> we are entering the debate phase, the choice phase of this campaign, and this choice is ever so clear.
>> reporter: president obama is hunkering down in nevada preparing for his one-on-one confrontation with romney , keeping a much more low key pre-debate schedule in a las vegas suburb. the president did make a brief appearance at a local campaign office where he delivered pizzas and called and thanked volunteers.
>> the work that you're doing is making all the difference.
>> reporter: and he joked about how he's preparing for the debate.
>> basically they are keeping me indoors all the time. it's a drag. they are making me do my homework.
>> reporter: while romney aides continue to play down expectations for the debate, new jersey governor chris christie continued to ramp them up on monday.
>> it's a huge night. had a bad couple of weeks, and we want to turn this around, and if you want to turn it around, you've got to perform on the biggest stage.
>> reporter: speaking of turning around, a slew of national polls have come out in the last couple of days all showing the same thing. mitt romney inching back up, only a few points behind, down anywhere from two to four points. what's interesting here about the numbers, savannah is, president obama 's numbers sort of locked in place at 49. the fluidity is in mitt romney 's number.
>> chuck todd in denver this