By the time the first presidential debate adjourns Wednesday night, we'll probably know whether Mitt Romney's candidacy is on the mend or circling the drain.
His maiden faceoff with President Obama is arguably his last best chance to halt his steady poll erosion and dispel the perception that he's the most ineffectual candidate since Bob Dole in 1996. (You don't remember a thing that Dole did or said? I rest my case.) But for Romney, the hour is already late.