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NBC/WSJ poll: Almost 40 percent say debates will be important

Nearly four in 10 voters say that the upcoming debates will be either "extremely" or "quite" important in helping determine their vote in the presidential election, according to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

That combined number -- 38 percent -- is up slightly from the last times the NBC/WSJ poll asked this question in 2004 (when 31 percent said the debates would be important) and in 2000 (when 36 percent said that).

Still, more than 60 percent say that the debates are either "just somewhat important" or "not at all important" to their votes. 

Overall in this survey, 22 percent say the debates are extremely important, 16 percent say they are quite important, 34 percent say they are just somewhat important and 28 percent say they are not at all important.

The full NBC/WSJ poll -- which was conducted of 1,000 registered voters (including 300 by cell phone) from Sept. 26-30 and which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points -- will be released at 6:30 p.m. ET. That release will also contain results from likely voters.