What to look for:
1. Lester Holt should play it straight. He has a dream job at NBC. Why screw it up with a debate controversy? He wins if he gives the losing side nothing to complain about.
2. Trump has to be Trump but also presidential. He's done that several times. Everyone remembers the first Republican debate when he took on Megyn Kelly. But the second debate was better because he learned it was OK to not hog the spotlight. Those were his first two debates. Ever. Trump beat the pros eleven times. The only debate he did not win was the one he did not attend.
3. Hillary has to look and stay healthy. She will. If they have to use Animatronics to get her to look healthy, they will. Her one fear is a coughing attack.
4. Can the canned lines. Rubio lost in New Hampshire and Al Gore in 2000 by robotically repeating the same lame line.
5. After the debate, watch who complains about Holt. That's the debate loser. Trump must learn not to complain. He did not complain after the Matt Lauer forum.
6. The Matt Drudge Poll is another indicator. Trump will need more than 60 percent to convince me. Also, other online polls will emerge. I learned after the Cleveland State debate in 1980 that those post-debate polls are on the up-and-up.
7. Frank Luntz and his focus groups are a joke. His fellow practitioners should tell him to knock it off, because he is hurting the business.
8. Fact-checkers are social justice warriors. The more peevish and tedious the claims against Trump, the better.
9. No one in the media will admit they are wrong, but look for Peggy Noonan to be kind to Trump on Friday if he wins tonight. She is a weathervane, and God bless her for that.
The public decided on Hillary years ago, and while I struggle to understand her attraction, she has her ardent supporters. Divide the country in three and you have Always Hillary, Never Hillary, and those who say they wish they had someone else but will settle for her.
That third group is Trump's to win. That is what the two sides are playing for. Hillary cannot win the debates. She must play defense. But that suits her just fine, as she is lame on offense. Her debates with Obama and Sanders showed this.
Trump? This is his night. As Roy Scheider's character Joe Gideon said in All That Jazz -- Show Time!
My new book, "Trump the Press," is a fun read that details how the experts missed the rise of Trump. Remember how they said Trump was just running to help Hillary? Read the reviews in the right column.
Please purchase "Trump the Press" through Create Space.
The book also available in Kindle and as a paperback on Amazon.
Autographed copies area available. Email me at DonSurber@GMail.com for details.