Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- There are five weeks left until the presidential election, and the long race for the White House is now becoming a sprint.

Wednesday night, Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney meet face-to-face in the first of three presidential debates.

The candidates will spend much of the time fielding questions about the economy.

The economy was also a topic of discussion with the lunch crowd at Frankie and Johnnies and Lil Dizzy's resturants in New Orleans.

'I know they talk about Main Street and Wall Street and there's this big division,' said David Lauricella from the Harahan Christian Church. 'Well, I'd like to see them get together with that and try to overcome their obstacles that keep them really separate.'

'I think the economy right now is a whole lot better than it was four years ago,' said Lil Dizzy's owner Wayne Baquet. 'I think we're definitely headed in the right direction.'

Voters are also interested in hearing the candidates views on health care.

'In the next 10 years, the total population in the United States will be 30 percent over the age of 65,' said Howard Rodgers, executive director of the New Orleans Council on Aging. 'It's going to be imperative that we we figure out a way to take care of this aging population.'

'I would like to know that what's supposed to happen as far as the whole Obamacare package goes, somehow can be dismantled,' said New Orleans resident Mia McGuire.

Recent polls indicate most voters in Louisiana have already made their presidential pick. But, the folks we spoke with today still say presidential debates are a good idea.

'I think it's time for these two guys to meet,' said Baquet. 'Let's just air it out. I just can't wait. I'm excited about it. It's going to be like the Super Bowl.'

'I'd like to hear some straight forward talk, not a bunch of politics,' said Lauricella.

'It compels people to think,' said McGuire. 'I think that's important. I think if they think enough and they hear and they've listened before you can tell if somebody says one thing one time and something else another time.'

'I particularly want to find, especially from Mitt Romney how he's going to be able to move forward in the next four years and not get stagnated by the gridlock in Congress that President Obama has,' said Rodgers.

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