Joe Biden and Donald Trump prepare for debate rematch

While President Biden and former President Trump are making last-minute preparations ahead of the big Thursday debate, some voters are wondering if it's going to change anybody's mind. 

Democratic analyst Ed Espinoza and Travis County GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.

MIKE WARREN: Ed Espinoza, what does Joe Biden have to do to convince those independent voters or voters who haven't decided yet?

ED ESPINOZA: You know, the big thing in this debate will be Joe Biden coming out and showing that he is invigorated to do the job as president and to talk about his record. Now, the challenge he's going to have in front of him is that typically, first-term presidents don't always do well in their first debate of the reelection. Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, all of them basically lost their first debate. But Biden won both of his debates, according to polls in 2020. He won both debates. He needs to come out and show that he is invigorated. Talk about the stock market, the growth of jobs, how he is trying to reinstate Roe v Wade and make the case for why voters elected him in 2020, and why they should reelect him in 2024. And keep in mind the audience for this, Mike. Very narrow. You're talking about a thin slice of the electorate in about six, maybe seven states. 

MIKE WARREN: Matt, what does Donald Trump need to do in this debate to sway people?

MATT MACKOWIAK: Yeah. Look, I think most analysts look at the race right now and have concluded that Trump is ahead. And if the election were held today, he would win. And so, really, you want to do more of what's working and not interrupt the momentum that you have. And I think the president, President Trump, will do that. Look, I think that the best frame for Trump, both in the debate and in the rest of the election is to say, you saw the results of my presidency in terms of actual job creation, not just part-time jobs like what we've seen with Biden, in terms of unleashing the power of American energy, in terms of, shutting down illegal immigration to the lowest level in recorded history, in terms of not getting into new wars, in terms of rebuilding our military. With Biden, you know, you've seen his record. It's been a disaster. We've had chaos around the world, a wide open border, the most significant national security threat, according to our FBI director since nine over 11. The list goes on and on and on. So that contrast is really what the election has to come down to. And, and I think maybe less from Trump and more from Biden, since you won't have a teleprompter, it would probably be advantageous to trump it.

MIKE WARREN: Ed, how do you think Biden is going to do in this? 

ED ESPINOZA: Well, Biden has proven through his numerous State of the Union addresses is that he can give a good performance and that he can actually corner people that he's up against. He's done it in almost every State of the Union, maybe all of them so far. And I have no doubt that he'll do it again with Donald Trump, with Donald Trump needs to be able to do is demonstrate does he have the discipline to get through this debate? The big issue he had in the past debates was that he was undisciplined, was that he didn't play by the rules, was that he was basically unhinged with some of his comments. Can Biden find ways to corner him? And I think that that's going to be key for him. The other thing that's interesting here, there will be no debate audience, and that is something that is unique for presidential debates, but also a hurdle for Donald Trump, who really feeds off of that feedback loop of his audiences. So I think it'll be interesting to see how that plays out. First time in history, by the way, we've seen two former presidents in a televised debate. Right. It might be the first time without an audience as well.  [00:05:15][59.9]

MIKE WARREN: Okay. Matt, what's your prediction?

MATT MACKOWIAK: Yeah. I mean there are some, some elements to this that are, that are very unusual. We haven't had, I think, a current president or former president running against each other and something like 100 years, obviously the same two people that ran four years ago. This debate happening June 27th is very, very, very early. Yeah. And I guess both sides have on it. Right. That in of itself, I think is noteworthy. And I will say, I know that Ed will probably disagree with this. I think there's a chance if Biden has a bad night, you'll see chatter pick up about replacing him as the nominee. Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. We're going to have a VP choice here, I think, in 7 or 10 days. And this race is really getting going, with intensity and focus quite, quite a bit earlier. Most people are still enjoying their summer, but this debate's going to have 60 or 70 or 80 million people tuning in on Thursday night.

MIKE WARREN: Okay. We will all be watching it. We got to wrap it. Ed, Matt, thank you both very much.