A gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden is practically inevitable, the Republican said.
Challenger Paul Ryan will be inexperienced and out of his league on foreign policy, the Democrat said.
For local political figures, it's a week to talk up their respective vice-presidential candidates as Thursday's running-mate debate fast approaches - all in the wake of an opening presidential debate that many commentators called a win for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"We can't wait," Blair County Republican Party Chairman A.C. Stickel said. "I do think this one's going to be fun to watch."
The Republicans, lagging in national polls as President Barack Obama continues to show strongly in swing states, have seized the momentum with three more October debates on the way, Stickel said.
But Frank Rosenhoover, the county's Democratic chairman, dismissed Romney's performance as "an amalgamation of lies and half-truths" punctuated by excited gestures and interruptions against the moderator, journalist Jim Lehrer.
The upcoming vice-presidential debate, Rosenhoover said, will be a chance for Biden to speak the truth in his uniquely forceful - some would say blustering - manner.
"Regardless of what he says, it'll be the truth," Rosenhoover said. "Maybe a strong dose of truth."
Thursday's nationally televised debate will be a first for challenger Rep. Paul Ryan, a seventh-term Wisconsin congressman.
With the debate set to cover both domestic and foreign topics, Ryan, who has little foreign-policy experience, will be at a disadvantage, Rosenhoover said.
"We've never seen him debate. It's hard to tell," he said. "But I know Biden will hold his own."
Stickel said local Republicans plan to throw a debate-night party Thursday, with many expecting Biden to make one of the poorly-worded, unscripted statements for which he's developed something of a reputation.
"I can't imagine what Joe Biden's going to say. ... Opportunities abound," Stickel said.
Many commentators, including Democrats, criticized Obama's cool performance and professorial tone during Wednesday's debate with Romney; the result, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown political science professor Raymond Wrabley said, could be overcompensation on Biden's part.
"The vice president is typically the attack dog," Wrabley said.
But either way, Wrabley said, few undecided voters will take their cue from debates just a month before the election. Only an obvious flap or gaffe, repeated in the news media, will have a powerful effect, he said.
Wrabley said few exchanges, particularly between vice-presidential candidates, make a substantial difference when most viewers are well-informed voters who've already made up their minds.
And both Stickel and Rosenhoover rejected the idea that single debate moments, like Ronald Reagan's 1980 famous "There you go again" to then-President Jimmy Carter, have a strong effect on the small remaining band of undecided voters.
"If a debate changes the election," Stickel said, "it won't be because of the gaffes or zingers."