For Trump, the debate is perhaps his last opportunity to turn around a race that appears to be slipping away. His predatory comments about women and a flood of sexual assault accusations have deepened his unpopularity with women and limited his pathways to victory. Trump has denied the accusations and his supporters remain intensely loyal, but there are few signs he's attracting the new backers he desperately needs.
Clinton takes the stage with challenges of her own. While the electoral map currently leans in her favor, the Democrat is facing a new round of questions about her trustworthiness, concerns that have trailed her throughout the campaign. The hacking of her top campaign adviser's emails revealed a candidate who is averse to apologizing, can strike a different tone in private than in public, and makes some decisions only after political deliberations.