WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) --- American University professor Bob Lehrman has a disheartening view of the presidential campaign this year.

"I have never seen as much lying as I have in this campaign. I mean things that people say that they know are false." he said.

Lehrman spoke with 9News on the eve of this year's first debate between the nominees of the two major political parties.

"Anything is possible in a debate but in order for it to have real impact Romney would have to take some risks, and Obama would have to make some mistakes," he said.

What kind of risks? Lehrman said:

"I think Romney has to risk alienating his base, like McGovern in 1972. The left wing of his ( McGovern's ) party, and I was firmly left then, is an albatross around a national candidate.

"He did what he had to do in the primary and took extreme positions. Now, he's (Romney) he's way behind with Hispanics. He's way behind with women. He can't win an election that way. He has to, somehow, not win those blocks but cut into them."

And risk having the base of his party stay home?

"I don't think they would stay home but they might give him less money, and it looks like the big donors are really looking at other races.

"But I don't think he has a chance, because he's not going to win running to the far right of the party," Lehrman said.

What is the most important thing for viewers to look for?

According to Lehrman, "Specifics about what lies ahead. For both of them it's not enough to say the other guy's bad. You have to say here are some concrete details about what will be different in the next four years than we've had for the last four years, whether it's Romney saying not just I'll create more jobs but how do we do that, or Obama saying here's what's ahead in jobs, healthcare, and the other kinds of things that are important to him."

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