Some random thoughts.
McCain needs to lighten up.
I've seen many talking heads insist McCain must be on the attack tonight because he's behind in the polls. I think that would be a mistake. After two debates now with confrontational tactics from McCain and then even more so from Palin, the data seems to clearly show that such conduct isn't working with undecided voters. The partisans in both parties want red meat (I've called for it plenty here)but those are not the voters McCain needs to pick-up.
McCain needs to do his best to be charming and affable tonight. The angry little man shtick isn't doing him any favors. And, by the way, I think he will. I will be surprised if McCain goes on the attack tonight.
Too much is being made of McCain's ability to perform in townhall meetings.
McCain is used to preaching to the choir at freewheeling meeting of admirers. Tonight will be very formal by townhall standards. McCain will not be walking around the stage swatting at softballs.
Conversely, Obama has also done hundreds of these meetings and can very adequately respond to questions from citizens, even hostile ones like those he has encountered from HRC supporters.
With no follow-ups from anyone, tonight promises to be a snoozer.
I really do believe Brokaw will favor difficult questions for Obama.
It's no secret that Brokaw has had a longstanding man crush on McCain and been sucking up big time to the McCain campaign. I think he will continue this tonight seeking to grill Obama more so than McCain. Brokaw knows McCain will punish NBC if he feels slighted whereas Obama will not.
I will update this as things occur to me.