Lynchburg, VA - Tim Kaine and George Allen battled it out Monday night. The two senate candidates debated in Richmond.
It was dubbed "The People's Debate," sponsored by the League of Women Voters, and the AARP, it focused on issues most important to Virginia voters. Touching on everything from Medicare and social security, to women's rights, this debate was all encompassing.
"George and I have very different strategies on how to deal with social security and Medicare," said Democrat, Tim Kaine.
"What we need to do is repeal and replace Obamacare," said Republican, George Allen.
"I like solutions in Medicare that cut costs and save costs rather than shift costs onto seniors' shoulders," said Kaine.
"The seniors I've heard from don't think it's at all great that over $700 million is being taken out of Medicare to pay for other programs," said Allen.
A back and forth debate dubbed for "the people," showed the major differences between Allen and Kaine. Kaine aligned himself with the President, but made a bi-partisan appeal, recalling his time serving as Governor under George Bush. He called out his opponent for a partisan past. "When he was Governor, he famously said that his job was to enjoy knocking Democrats' soft teeth down their whiney throats," he said.
Allen attacked ,as well, accusing Kaine of supporting potentially thousands of cuts to defense spending. "We in Virginia have over 200,000 defense and technology jobs at risk. And so rather than cutting back, we need to make sure we have a strong economy, a strong military," he said.
"There didn't seem to be a knockout punch. It wasn't that type of boxing metaphor," said Sweet Briar College Professor of Government, Steve Bragaw.
Political experts say no clear winner in this debate. But, they say, with George Allen appealing only to Republicans, Tim Kaine may have the edge.
"George Allen was definitely seeing the conservative. That is the audience he was going for," said Bragaw.
Right now, polls are showing this race as a very close one. And it's being followed just as closely; this race could determine the ultimate majority in the United States senate.
The final debate will be October 18th at Virginia Tech.