Perdue, McCrory debate at WRAL, take viewers' questions
Posted September 8, 2008 7:06 p.m. EDT
Updated September 9, 2008 7:01 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue are returning to television for another debate, eight weeks before voters choose North Carolina's next governor.
The Republican and Democratic nominees will meet Tuesday night in a one-hour live forum at the WRAL-TV studios in Raleigh. It will be their third head-to-head meeting since winning gubernatorial primaries in May.
"This is a chance they've got to get out of the shadow of the national conventions that have taken up all of the oxygen for two weeks," Democratic consultant Gary Pearce said.
Since their last debate three weeks ago, Perdue's campaign has been critical of McCrory on school vouchers, arguing his support for them would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
McCrory dismisses the argument. He and surrogates have countered that Perdue has backed subsidies for children who attend private preschools and universities.
Pearce and Republican consultant Carter Wrenn said both candidates need to connect with swing voters on what to do about jobs and the economy and to draw distinct differences on issues like illegal immigration, offshore oil drilling and public education.
"The people who are going to decide this election don't know how they're going to vote yet," Pearce said.
"It's all about the undecided at this point," Wrenn said. "It's a pretty close race, and I don't think either of them have yet etched in stone one of those reasons why it's clear to vote for, say, McCrory and not Perdue."
The debate will air live on WRAL-TV and WRAL.com at 7 p.m., and post-debate analysis will be streamed live on WRAL.com immediately afterward.
WRAL's Cullen Browder will pose some of your questions to the candidates and read some of your comments on the post-debate special.
The debate will be simulcast Tuesday on WMYT in Charlotte and on WFMY in Greensboro/High Point.
The debate will also be repeated at the following times and channels:
- Tuesday at 10:35 p.m. on WRAZ in the Triangle
- Tuesday at 11 p.m. on WJZY in Charlotte
- Wednesday at 1 a.m. on WSOC in Charlotte
- Saturday at noon on WILM in Wilmington
- Sunday at 1 p.m. on WUNC statewide
- Sunday at 5 p.m. on WAXN in Charlotte