Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer told viewers Tuesday on "Special Report with Bret Baier"  that the presidential debates are going to be crucial this time around for candidate and voters.

With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump starting to take a slight lead in some battleground state polls, such as North Carolina and Ohio, Krauthammer said "it's getting late early" for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Krauthammer said that since both candidates are well-known to voters, the upcoming debates are going to play a bigger role than in years past, especially for Clinton.

"People know who they are...I'm not sure what her advertising advantage is going to be at this point," he said.

While history has shown that the debates do not alter the basic shape of the race, Krauthammer said this year will be different.

"The importance of these debates is gonna exceed the importance of any debates in any race that we have ever seen," he said.